The new Asmark AgriCenter offers an interactive safety training opportunity for those working on farms. (Photo by Carrie Muehling/WJBC)
By Carrie Muehling
BLOOMINGTON - Time is short to register for the first of three farmer education seminars being hosted by the Illinois Corn Growers Association.
The farmer-focused educational seminars will promote farm safety and help farmers understand current on-farm hazards. The seminars will be held at the new state of the art Asmark Agricenter in Bloomington.
“Any grain farmer in Illinois is basically who we targeted the audience to be. Family members, employees of farms, anybody that’s going to be handling anhydrous ammonia, anybody who is involved in the day to day operations or making sure the vehicles are safety on the roads,” said Kevin Runkle, regulatory affairs manager with the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association.
Safety and regulatory compliance will continue to become more prevalent in the agriculture industry. The Illinois Corn Growers Association continues to advocate for voluntary training instead of mandatory requirements Runkle said these seminars will focus on three specific areas. In addition to anhydrous ammonia safety training and vehicle compliance, the session will also address the need for farms with more than 1,320 gallons of oil to have an SBCC plan on file. Farms established prior to 2002 should already have a plan in place, and farms established after 2002 have until May 2013 to get a plan in place.
“I suggest don’t wait until the last minute. It’s a requirement for the U.S. EPA and they have been out doing audits at some farm facilities,” said Runkle.
This won’t just be a classroom setting as the new training facility at the Asmark AgriCenter provides an interactive environment.
“We’re going to have some of the anhydrous ammonia equipment so we can have more of a hands-on training rather than lecture type training. It gives the farming community a chance to see what we have to offer in the training center, with the grain bin handling and the anhydrous ammonia safety. We’re hoping to develop a grain program later,” said Runkle.
The cost for the day is $100 which includes lunch, conference materials, and appropriate safety gear. To register, call the ICGA office at 309-557-3257. Registration will not be accepted at the door. The deadline for the Jan. 9 seminar is this coming Monday, Jan. 7. Other seminars are scheduled for Jan. 18 and Feb. 1.
Carrie Muehling can be reached at email@example.com.