ResponsibleAg, an industry-led safety and stewardship initiative, recently reached a major milestone when it completed its 3,000th agricultural facility audit at the West Geneva County Cooperative in Geneva, Alabama. Launched in 2014, ResponsibleAg provides a program that helps agribusinesses properly store and handle farm input supplies. The program helps members ensure they comply with environmental, health, safety and security regulations to keep employees, customers and communities safe.
“The 3,000th audit milestone is significant because it is indicative of the value ResponsibleAg provides to agricultural facilities and their commitment to safety and compliance,” says Tim McArdle, EVP, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of the Brandt Retail Agronomy division, and Chairman of the Board for ResponsibleAg. “The level of voluntary participation during the first five years of this program is impressive and the number of audited facilities is climbing rapidly. Participation demonstrates retailers’ continued commitment to safety for their employees, as well as customers and residents of the communities in which they operate.”
ResponsibleAg began the auditing program in December 2014. The first facility to complete the rigorous process and become certified was Crop Production Services, now known as Nutrien Ag Solutions, in Hillsboro, Tennessee. Facilities participating in the ResponsibleAg Certification Program undergo a thorough audit conducted by a ResponsibleAg Credentialed Auditor. The assessment can cover up to 17 areas of operation, depending upon the type of facility.
Once they are certified, facilities must repeat the audit process every three years to maintain ResponsibleAg certification. Recertification ensures personnel stay up to date on safe practices and facilities comply with new or updated rules and regulations.
“ResponsibleAg will continue to work toward its goal of 100 percent industry participation,” McArdle says. “This effort relays a strong message to the public and regulators, demonstrating that all members of the industry are committed to doing what is right and are working together to keep safety the top priority.”
For more information about the organization, the ResponsibleAg Certification Program or becoming a ResponsibleAg Credentialed Auditor, visit ResponsibleAg.org.