Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
Supply · Service · Stewardship

IDA Inspectors - Like a Family

We were very sorry to learn this week that Steve Smothers, an ammonia/fertilizer/seed/feed inspector in Western Illinois, passed away at the age of 64.  Steve's obituary is here.  We send our condolences to his wife and family and appreciate his work and dedication to the ag industry.  
Also recently, John Zook who performed ammonia/fertilizer/seed/feed inspections in Central Illinois retired from IDA and we wish him the very best in his well-deserved retirement.  Tom Waller, who was the man behind the scenes in all the fertilizer, soil amendment and feed registrations, also retired from IDA a few weeks ago and he too will be sorely missed.  And let's not forget Karen Fawns, who kept the Bureau of Ag Products Inspection running; she retired from IDA at the end of last year.  
Although these inspectors, and those who also work in the pesticide and grain bureaus, are part of an Agency that also has enforcement powers, IFCA has always viewed the IDA inspectors as key partners in our industry, helping to educate on compliance requirements and assuring that our industry can stand behind the products that we sell and service.  With all the challenges in state government, it may take some time for IDA to fill these two positions and the rest of the inspection team will be called upon to cover John and Steve's territories.  The next time you see an IDA inspector, take a minute to thank them for what they do.  They have a difficult but extremely important job, and IDA is the gatekeeper that ensures consistency and accountability in the industry.  We are all in this together during good times and difficult times, and the partnership between IFCA members and IDA is critical to our long term success.