Illinois farmers and any of their employees or family members who help transport or apply anhydrous ammonia will be able to receive new, required anhydrous ammonia grower training online beginning Jan. 1.

The mandatory training approved by the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) must be completed by April 1, 2022. Once completed, growers receive a certificate valid for three years to provide upon request to their anhydrous ammonia retailer.

The IDOA training module was developed in consultation with Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association, Illinois Corn Growers Association and the Illinois Soybean Association.

In-person training sessions will begin when state mitigations for COVID-19 determine it is safe to gather in a group setting. IDOA and interested agriculture organizations are soliciting qualified volunteers interested in delivering in-person training to growers.

Those interested in providing in-person training must meet the following qualifications:

  • Minimum five years of experience in the anhydrous ammonia industry; practical experience with storage, application and equipment operation, inspection, maintenance and use;
  • Comfortable speaking to groups and ability to relate to growers for Q & A interaction;
  • Experience or have technical support on-hand in using computer/projector/microphone for the presentation and have access to suitable meeting rooms or outside venues to conduct training, including venues that can accommodate COVID-19 guidelines for in-person events.
  • Good organization and communication skills and ability to maintain and transmit training rosters to IDOA.
  • Be a Certified Competent Attendant certified by attending an IDOA-sponsored training; attend this training annually to continue training.

If interested in becoming a trainer, contact IDOA’s Jeff Squibb at 217-785-8212 or email jeff.squibb@illinois.gov; or Lauren Lurkins, IFB director of environmental policy, at 309-530-0398 or email llurkins@ilfb.org.