Max: Training and Certification Component Ensures Compliance

posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Max Gransow headshot in blue polo

“We want to set our custom manure applicators up for success, which is why we provide annual training in a way that is both convenient, in-depth and relevant to their business,” said Max Gransow, nutrient services manager at Iowa Select Farms. “We continuously grow and evolve how we train and collaborate with our now 80 custom applicators and their crews to help them apply safely, accurately and in compliance with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources regulations.”

Max says that, for years, Iowa Select Farms organized an annual one-day meeting in the summer to provide information updates to the manure application teams. In addition, all applicators had to remain current on their certification, which means they were attending a DNR course and completing a testing component at their local ISU Extension office to earn their Commercial Manure Services (CMS) license. 

Last year, the nutrient services team grew the applicator program to a two-day event to incorporate the certification component. The trainers were brought in for the application teams to help both the trainers and the trainees with their objective of ensuring consistent, quality training, annual licensing and full compliance with DNR regulations. At the same time, educational break-out sessions were added, plus an evening dinner, awards program, mini-trade show and product showcase.

Max says they appreciate the collaboration with the DNR staff, working closely to provide the required topics, oversite of the program and certifying attendance, a requirement of the DNR. To accomplish this, the Humboldt FFA team certified attendance and provided those records to the DNR.

In addition to hosting the Iowa DNR trainers, guest speakers represented the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) at the summer meeting, representatives of Iowa State University, Iowa Ag Water Alliance and members of the Iowa Select Farms operations, communications, health services and nutrient management teams. They hosted breakout sessions.

speaker presenting the applicators

Max says that when the fall application season hit, the planning, preparation and certification played a significant role in making things run smoothly. 

“We simply could not get this done without our custom manure applicators, and they are top-notch in their profession,” said Max. “We’re grateful for their contribution and proud of this sector of agriculture that, as applicators, are essential to the overall goal of building soil health. We’re grateful for these teams and want to keep looking for ways to support them better.”