State and industry representatives cut a ribbon to launch the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's new anhydrous ammonia safety exhibit Feb. 13 at the National Farm Machinery Show. Pictured are, from left: Ashley McWaters, Kentucky Fire Commission; Ronnie Day, executive director of the fire commission; Jay Hall, director of the KDA's Kentucky Agriculture Education and Outreach; Jim Hellbusch, president of Duo Lift Manufacturing Co.; Deputy Agriculture Commissioner Steve Kelly; Lisa Gronau, Great Plains Industries; KDA employee Whitney Turner; and Dale Dobson, the KDA's Farm and Home Safety Program administrator. (Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo)
KDA cuts ribbon on new safety display
For Immediate Release
Thursday, February 19, 2015
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A new exhibit will show Kentucky farmers, emergency responders, and others how to handle emergencies related to anhydrous ammonia.
Kentucky Department of Agriculture staff, other state officials, and industry dignitaries cut the ribbon to place an anhydrous ammonia display into service Feb. 13 during the National Farm Machinery Show at the Kentucky Exposition Center.
Jim Hellbusch, president of Duo Lift Manufacturing Co. in Columbus, Nebraska, built the unit from scratch at the suggestion of Dale Dobson, the KDA’s Farm and Home Safety Program administrator.
“I want to commend Jim Hellbusch on his one-of-a-kind creation,” Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said. “Anhydrous ammonia is necessary to help corn growers maximize their yields and feed a hungry world. But it must be handled properly at all times. This new display will prevent injuries and save lives.”
Deputy Agriculture Commissioner Steve Kelly presented Hellbusch with an Honorary Commissioner of Agriculture certificate on behalf of Commissioner Comer.
Anhydrous ammonia is a nitrogen fertilizer that is stored and applied under high pressure. When exposed to the air, it becomes a gas that can injure the eyes, skin, and lungs. Exposure at high concentrations can be fatal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It’s a big western Kentucky issue,” Dobson said. “Most of the corn farmers that use anhydrous ammonia are west of Bowling Green and Owensboro. It’s the cheapest way to get nitrogen in the ground.”
Dobson said farm machinery show attendees immediately noticed the new display.
“You won’t believe how many people have walked by and said, ‘I always wanted to see what the inside of those tanks looks like,’” Dobson said.
Lisa Gronau represented Great Plains Industries, which donated a fuel transfer pump, at the ribbon cutting. Half of the anhydrous ammonia display unit consists of the pump, which Dobson will use to teach farm equipment refueling safety.