AUDIO: Steve Gerard, New Century FS on ResponsibleAg Program.
Safety is an issue discussed a lot in agriculture. We seem to put a lot of focus on safety on the farm. However, safety extends to every facet of the industry. I visit with Steve Gerard, safety, environmental, & regulatory director at New Century FS, about the ResponsibleAg program.
ResponsibleAg is a voluntary program offering safety training to various Ag facilities on a wide range of topics: OSHA regulations, DOT training and environmental considerations. Steve Gerard says the program was trying to get off the ground when the West Texas Fertilizer facility accident occurred in Waco, Texas.
Gerard says with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) sudden focus on anhydrous ammonia safety, the scope of the program, changed.
After the 2016 election, a new administration changed many EPA policies. This allowed ResponsibleAg to shift its focus back to the original focus.
Not only does the training improve safety at a facility, it also focuses on the surrounding community. Gerard shares an example of how New Century FS worked with the community of Vinton, Iowa.