Monday, May 23, 2016

Truckload Carriers Association Presents 2016 Clare C. Casey Safety Professional of the Year Award to Garth Pitzel of Bison Transport

“Garth is a crusader for our people and our industry — always available and involved, advocating on behalf of safety.”

Fort Worth, Texas – Garth Pitzel, director of safety and driver development for Bison Transport of Winnipeg, Manitoba, has been presented with the 2016 Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA) Clare C. Casey Safety Professional of the Year Award. The honor is bestowed upon a recipient whose actions and achievements have had a profound and positive benefit or contribution to better safety on our highways. Today’s award ceremony took place during the organization’s Safety & Security Division Annual Meeting, held this year in Fort Worth, Texas.
Pitzel joined Bison Transport in October of 1994 and held various roles within highway and city operations before being promoted to his current position in June of 2001. He is responsible for company and driver safety, driver development, and company security. Under his leadership, Bison has established a safety culture that consistently wins awards throughout the trucking industry.
A well-known safety professional, Pitzel actively promotes the industry and furthers transportation and workplace safety initiatives. He appears at a variety of industry-related events as a speaker and presenter. He regularly contributes his expertise and resources to trucking associations and private industry, as well as to government and regulatory bodies. These have included initiatives in promoting and bringing new drivers to the industry, training for private fleets, and harmonization of regulations for long combination vehicles across provinces.
He is currently involved with TCA’s School Committee and has held several leadership roles within the Safety & Security Division. He is a member of the Saskatchewan Trucking Association’s board of directors, Qualcomm’s Safety Advisory Board, and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee. He also was inducted to the Manitoba Trucking Association’s Pioneer Club, which recognizes members of the local trucking industry who have been continually employed in the industry for at least 25 years and are actively and directly engaged in the formulation, direction, or execution of policy.
According to the application written to nominate Pitzel for the award, he “is an energetic and driven leader who engages and motivates people at all levels. He freely provides his time, direction, and resources to partners and competitors on many safety-related issues and initiatives. He believes that safety should be a common goal, which requires collaboration, perseverance, open dialogue and action. Garth is a crusader for our people and our industry—always available and involved, advocating on behalf of safety.”
Nominees for TCA’s award must exemplify leadership and demonstrate the goals of protecting lives and property in the motor transportation industry while serving their company, industry, and the motoring public. The award is named after a safety professional who actively served TCA from 1979 until 1989. He was devoted to ensuring that all truckload safety professionals meet yearly to build the strong safety network this Division provides today, and was instrumental in forming the first annual Safety & Security Division meeting in 1982. Upon his death in 1989, the first Award in his name was presented in 1990.
For more details about the annual Clare C. Casey Safety Professional of the Year Award, please visit You can also follow TCA on Facebook——and Twitter—


Visit From Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell Planned for First Peas to the Table Contest Winner

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 23, 2016 – The winner of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture’s First Peas to the Table Contest is Carrie Smith’s third-grade class at Cason Lane Academy in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Smith’s classroom wins the grand prize – a visit from Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell, who joined the Foundation in launching the First Peas to the Table Contest in February.

“I’m confident that students will enjoy hearing from Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell about her platform of ‘Healthy Children, Strong America,’ which encourages children to make healthy choices and stay physically active,” said Julie Tesch, executive director of the Foundation.

First Peas is a new national competition for schools that encourages children in kindergarten through fifth grade to plant, raise and harvest peas.

Student teams competed to grow the greatest amount of peas (measured in cups) using no more than 20 pea seeds during the official contest period, March 1 – May 16. Smith’s class harvested 2 cups of peas, as did Sophie Walsky’s Elbert County 4-H Cloverbuds in Elberton, Georgia. The tie between the two teams was broken with a random drawing, after which the Tennessee school was declared the winner.
Thirty-one schools submitted pea measurements, although even more schools participated. Some schools’ peas were not ready to harvest at the end of the contest.
“Getting their hands dirty is the best way for children to learn! We are excited that through this contest, we were able to provide a fun, hands-on learning opportunity for students across the country,” Tesch said.
The contest highlights the Foundation’s latest Book of the Year, “First Peas to the Table,” by Susan Grigsby. The Foundation created the contest to help students understand the importance of healthy foods and agriculture in their everyday lives and to increase their understanding of how plants grow.

Students competing in the contest were allowed to grow peas in any manner including in a hot house, hoop house, indoor pot, planter or outside garden. In conjunction with the contest, Tesch continues to encourage educators to invite local farmers and ranchers to speak in their classrooms about food production and the importance of agriculture. Contacting your county Farm Bureau office is a good way to find local farmers.