Head Start Program Prepares The Next Generation Of Ag Retailers

Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association (IFCA), in partnership with the The Asmark Institute, are offering a training curriculum for Illinois’ community college students enrolled in agriculture programs at their respective college. The Head Start Program offers students a training curriculum that prepares them for work at agricultural retail facilities.

“One thing missing in the agricultural workforce is a variety of young, talented and properly trained individuals prepared to enter the ag retail industry,” stated Allen Summers, President, Asmark Institute. “If we can assist by offering agricultural students basic safety training, then we help the industry by preparing the next generation for a career in the ag retail industry.”

The Head Start Program will focus on training agriculture students proper methods to prepare driver qualification files as well as receive training in the following subjects: confined space entry, forklift safety training, blood borne pathogens, anhydrous ammonia safety, HAZMAT, Hazard Communication, Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Worker Protection Standards (WPS), Fire Extinguisher, Lockout/Tagout and Respirator basics. One of the goals of the Head Start program is to reduce accidents at the workplace while at the same time giving students a head start on safety and training requirement prior to entering the ag retail workforce.

The course curriculum will be offered at the Asmark Institute Agricenter in Bloomington, IL, on Thursday, May 1, 2014.

“We were approached by Rich Teeter, Assistant Professor of Agriculture at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, IL, to once again offer a training program for their students prior to graduation. We decided to offer training courses that satisfy USEPA, OSHA, IDA and USDOT training requirements,” stated Kevin Runkle, Directory of Regulatory Services for Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association. “This unique program is now in its second year and if it generates continued interest from other community colleges in Illinois we will offer more training programs.”

The Head Start Ag Safety Program won the 2013 Illinois Council of Community College Administrators (ICCCA) Innovation Award.  If you have questions about the Head Start Training Program, contact Kevin Runkle at 309-827-2774

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