The NCDA&CS Agronomic Division is a Public Sector Star.
The state Department of Labor honored the division this week for achieving Public Sector Star status. Public Sector Star is part of the Carolina Star Program, which recognizes workplaces with exemplary occupational safety and health programs. The Public Sector Star is awarded to state and local government agencies that meet the program’s stringent requirements.
Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry presented division staff with the Carolina Star flag and Public Sector Star certificate at a ceremony at the Eaddy Agronomic Building on Aug. 24.
“The work that you do for agriculture is important for the employees and important for this state,” Berry said. “The teamwork that you’ve shown to achieve the status as a Public Sector Star is extraordinary.”
Said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler: “You’ve got to concentrate on safety every day or you pay the consequence. In times when workloads are heavy, this is a great accomplishment. It was also great for employee morale.”
Dr. Colleen Hudak-Wise, director of the Agronomic Division, said the lengthy process of preparing for Public Star status was a valuable team-building experience. “All our employees stand to benefit from this effort,” she said.
The Agronomic Division’s soil testing lab analyzes more than 350,000 samples each year for levels of major plant nutrients and micronutrients and other characteristics. These measurements enable the division to provide crop-specific and site-specific recommendations for managing soil fertility. The division also includes a plant tissue analysis lab, waste analysis lab, solution analysis lab, media analysis lab and nematode lab. Each of these labs handles and tests thousands of samples annually.
The Agronomic Division is the fourth NCDA&CS site to be recognized as a Public Sector Star. The other three sites are the Border Belt Tobacco Research Station in Whiteville, the Cherry Research Farm in Goldsboro and the Standards Laboratory in Raleigh. There are 16 Public Sector Star sites in North Carolina out of 128 total sites in the Carolina Star Program.