April 11, 2019
NAAA eNewsletter

NAAA Now Offering Legal Services on Federal Transportation Laws to Operator and Pilot Members

To continuously improve upon its service to the aerial application industry, NAAA has entered into an agreement to provide legal-consulting services to its aerial application operator and pilot members on federal transportation issues. The agreement is with the Law Office of John L. Wright, PC, out of Broomfield, Colo., and NAAA will provide up to one hour of legal consultation to an operator and/or pilot member of the association on federal aviation laws, including federal aviation taxation issues and federal transportation laws. The agreement will last at least through 2019. Members in this category seeking these legal services should first contact NAAA’s main office (202-546-5722, information@agaviation.org) and NAAA will serve as the bridge connecting members in need of legal consultation with Mr. Wright.


Mr. Wright has received some fame in the agricultural aviation industry as of late by successfully representing several Colorado aerial application operators that were facing off-target application charges filed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture. The case was dismissed by an administrative law judge due to evidence showing the professionalism of each operation involved, such as participation in Operation S.A.F.E. fly-ins, keeping application and weather site records, circling the field prior to application, checking wind direction, and EPA testing for safety of the products used.


The Colorado Agricultural Aviation Association and several Colorado aerial application operators that use the legal services of Mr. Wright have attested to his legal abilities. NAAA may also seek Mr. Wright’s services and interpretation of certain federal transportation laws and regulations to better serve NAAA members.

Fatal Ag Aviation Accident Tragically Takes Longtime Ag Pilot Bernard Rowland

NAAA members and staff would like to express their sincere condolences to the family and friends of Bernard Rowland II of Lasara, Texas. Mr. Rowland was fatally injured in an accident Tuesday, April 9. The accident occurred around 10:45 a.m. near Harlingen, Texas. Initial reports indicate the Air Tractor AT-502 Bernard was piloting struck a power line in a field.


Bernard Rowland was the owner and operator of Rowland Dusters based in Raymondville, Texas. He was 77 years old.


If you would like to offer condolences and/or assistance to the Rowland family, please send it to their mailing address:

57198 LaRomana Road
Raymondville, TX 78580

NAAA Issues National Press Release Urging Safe UAV Operations Around Ag Aircraft this Growing Season

With over 1 million UAVs registered with the FAA, NAAA has reached out to local and national agricultural and aviation outlets reminding UAV users to be mindful of low-flying ag aircraft as we approach the busy 2019 growing season.


The press release reminded UAV users agricultural aviators fly as low as 10 feet off the ground, meaning they share airspace with UAVs that are limited to flying no more than 400 feet above ground level. For this reason, the NAAA asked UAV operators to do everything they can to avoid ag aircraft doing important low-level work.


NAAA recommends that UAV operators:

  • Equip drones with tracking technology, such as ADS-B, so other similarly equipped aircraft can ascertain their positions.
  • Get certified and well-trained in operating a UAV.
  • Contact local agricultural aviation operations before flying by consulting AgAviation.org/findapplicator.
  • Equip UAVs with visible strobe lights.
  • Always give the right-of-way to a manned aircraft. It’s the law.
  • Land your UAV immediately when a low-altitude manned aircraft is nearby.
  • Carry UAV liability insurance.

The so far, the press release has been featured on AgAir Update, Commercial Drone Professional, DroneBelow.com,sUAS News, UAV Expert News, UAS Magazine and Vertical Magazine.


This is the third year NAAA has reached out to the press regarding safe UAV operations. Past coverage has included Farm Journal’s Ag Pro, as well as RFD-TV and radio.  RFD-TV is the nation’s first 24-hour television network focused on agribusiness reaching more than 50 million homes on DISH Network, DIRECTV, Comcast, and many other rural cable systems. RFD-TV radio is also widely circulated throughout the U.S. on channel 147 of SiriusXM.

Book Your Hotel Room for the Ag Aviation Expo


We’re still several months away from the 2019 Ag Aviation Expo in Orlando, Nov. 18-21, but it’s not too early to book your hotel room. Rosen Shingle Creek is a full-service, luxury hotel with impeccable customer service and top-notch amenities. The location is prime—on Universal Boulevard and 10 minutes from the Orlando International Airport. Besides networking, learning and having fun at the 2019 Ag Aviation Expo, enjoy your beautiful sleeping rooms, amazing restaurants, including everything from fun bars to casual dining to fine-dining, relaxing spa and the fun and competitive golf course. See below for information on booking your room.

  • Rate: $139/night + taxes (no resort fee and includes basic internet access in your room and complimentary fitness center access)
  • Reservations: Book online here or call (866) 996-6338 and refer to NAAA convention. All reservations are two double beds. If you'd like a king room, please state that when calling or in the comments section when making the reservation online. 
  • Hotel Block Cut-off Date: Thursday, Oct. 24 at 5 p.m. ET
  • Hotel Address:  9939 Universal Blvd., Orlando, FL 32819 | Hotel Phone: (866) 996-9939 | Reservations: (866) 996-6338
  • Cancellation & One Night's Charge Policy: Cancellation required by 4 p.m. at least five (5) days prior to arrival to avoid a charge of one night’s room + tax. All reservations are required to be guaranteed with a valid credit card. Please be advised that five days prior to your arrival, an authorization equivalent to one night's room + tax charge will be processed on your card. Authorizations on a debit card will place a hold on funds within your bank account at the time of authorization. 
  • Check In & Out: Check in is 3 p.m. and check out is 11 a.m.
  • Parking: Daily self-parking is $18; valet is $26.
  • Universal Orlando Hotel Partner, where guests enjoy complimentary scheduled daily transportation from the hotel to and from Universal Orlando Resort exciting theme parks and to SeaWorld® Orlando and Aquatica. Contact the hotel directly for further details at (866) 996-9939

Additional details for the 2019 NAAA Ag Aviation Expo

  • Dates: Nov. 18–21, 2019 (NOTE THE NOVEMBER DATES)
  • Location: Rosen Shingle Creek, Orlando, Fla.
  • Schedule of Events: Current schedule here. Subject to change.
  • Attendee Registration: Opens July 1 
  • Exhibitor Booth Sales: Aircraft, Diamond sponsors and large booth space requests (island or 10x30+)  are now open. Booth sales open July 11 for 10x10 and 10x20 spaces. Email Lindsay if you’d like a large booth space.
  • Auction Donations: Thank you to Pratt & Whitney Canada for donating a PT6-34AG engine to this year’s NAAA Live Auction. While we’re still several months away from the Ag Aviation Expo, but it’s never too early to donate an item for the Live and Silent Auction. The earlier you inform us of your auction donation, the more advertising you’ll receive on the NAAA website and in NAAA publications.

Perdue Defends Glyphosate as Critical Ag Tool

On Tuesday, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue defended glyphosate while testifying before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture. Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) said that considering the many glyphosate-related lawsuits against Bayer, the company could pull the product from the market if it determines selling the product is not worth the legal risk.


Perdue said such a move would be “devastating,” adding that the product has “exponentially” increased production in the last 25 years along with other crop protection chemicals.


“I’m afraid that while groups that oppose these types of uses have not been able to win on the science side, they've chosen the litigation route,” he said. “I’m hoping that the appeals court will see through this and make better decisions about that,” he added.


“What we’re seeing in the E.U. along this route, I call it the ‘technology-free zone,’” Perdue said. “I think again they will pay the price for this in the future.”


In 2015, the World Health Organization declared glyphosate to be “probably carcinogenic.” This prompted many of the pending 1,600 legal cases to be filed. However, an investigation by the news agency Reuters later found key information that the pesticide, in fact, does not cause cancer in animals, and that information had been omitted from the report.


In 2016, the EPA affirmed glyphosate does not cause cancer, and in 2017 a long-term study by the National Cancer Institute following 50,000 people over 20 years also showed no link between glyphosate and cancer.

Enter the 2019 Environmental Respect Awards Contest


Now in its 29th year, the Environmental Respect Awardsis the agricultural industry’s premier stewardship program honoring outstanding work in preserving the environment through safe, responsible business practices. Interested aerial applicators have until June 7 to make a compelling case for their operation’s environmental stewardship program. The Environmental Respect Awards program is open to retail farm supply businesses that store, handle, sell, and/or apply crop nutrient and crop protection products.


New in 2019, the Environmental Respect Awards have broadened the awards to include not only crop protection and seed retailers/agents/agencies, but also service providers, integrated producers and public agencies.


Over the years, a number of NAAA members have been recognized for the environmental respect on display at their operations. In 2016, for example, Glenn and Scott Heinen of Heinen Brothers Agra Services in Seneca, Kan., won the Environmental Respect Award for the state of Kansas.  Tim Tyree of Tyree Ag Inc. in Kinsley, Kan. Tyree received a Kansas state Environmental Respect Award in 2009 and was named a 2011 Environmental Respect Award regional winner, Darrel Mertens, 2018 NAAA vice president of Aero Applications in Sterling, Colo., has been a national finalist.


To compete for an Environmental Respect Award, you must submit a self-audit entry at environmentalrespect.com. Creating a self-audit entry has never been easier, thanks to the Environmental Respect Awards’ save-as-you-go entry process. Aerial applicators can save their entries and update them at a later time by logging in with their username and password.


The Environmental Respect Awards are sponsored by Corteva Agriscience, the new agriculture division of DowDupont, and presented by CropLife magazine and AgriBusiness Global. One business in each state and a sub-regional winner from each of three U.S regions (East, Central, West) plus Canada will be recognized as the best business in their respective areas. Regional Winners from each of three U.S. regions plus Canada are invited to Washington DC for a gala celebration that will take place in October 2019. A top regional award – named as “Ambassador of Respect” –  is revealed only at the grand finale of the gala celebration.

Contest Tips

Want to get a leg up on the competition? Here are some tips from past judges to make your self-audit entry stand out:

  • Supply photos, such as pictures that pertain to your security, mixing and loading, storage and safety procedures. Pictures will bolster the claims you report in your self-audit booklet.
  • Supply supporting materials. Consider newspaper and magazine articles about your business, community letters, marketing materials, copies of written emergency plans, facility maps, press materials, etc. The more information, the better.
  • Include comments and explanations. Several areas throughout the self-audit online application request comments or explanations. Use those areas to explain your business procedures,
  • Provide background information and communicate your company policies. The selection panel refers to the comment sections to help make final decisions about winning entries.
  • Make sure every question is answered in the self-audit. All unanswered questions count as a “No” response and can significantly affect your entry score.

Visit environmentalrespect.com for more information and to get started.

NAAA Seeks Ag Aviation Footage for Possible Peterson Farm Bros Video

With the 100th anniversary of the aerial application industry coming up in 2021, NAAA has approached Greg Peterson of the Peterson Farm Brothers about using their considerable song parody talents (and social media prowess) to develop an aerial application-themed music video.


Toward the end of his kickoff address at the 2018 Ag Aviation Expo, an audience member asked Peterson when he would make a song video about ag aviation. Peterson responded enthusiastically, noting that it had been on his list of song theme ideas for some time. NAAA recently sent Peterson sample lyrics to a parody based on “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses. The song is tentatively titled “Sweet Line O’ Mine,” and NAAA asked Peterson to consider producing an aerial application song parody in time for or ahead of the industry’s 100th anniversary in 2021.


Peterson pledged to try to have something done by 2021. The exact song and lyrics remain to be determined, but Peterson said he may incorporate some of NAAA’s ideas into the lyrics. Sponsorship money could help fund the making of the video, and NAAA will be developing a sponsorship proposal for NAAREF to consider. The Peterson Farm Bros’ ag-themed videos are an entertaining and educational form of outreach to the masses. Since 2012 when they posted their first song to YouTube, “I’m Farming and I Grow It”—a “Weird Al” Yankovic style parody video set to tune of LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It”—the Peterson Farm Bros have garnered more than 50 million views for their agriculturally themed song videos. Their YouTube page has 172,000 subscribers.


However, more than financial support, Peterson mentioned that getting quality video footage from various ag pilots would help get an ag aviation-themed song parody video off the ground. That’s where you can help. The sample lyrics to “Sweet Line O’ Mine” appear below. If you have aerial application video footage that would fit well with the proposed lyrics and would be willing to share them, NAAA invites you to upload your videos to NAAA’s Ag Aviation Video Footage Submissions folder online. You do not need a Dropbox account to upload your video files to the folder, but you will not be able to access them once they have been uploaded to NAAA’s file-sharing folder. The only information you need to provide to complete the upload is your name and email address.


Any media (photos, videos, etc.) uploaded to NAAA’s Ag Aviation Video Footage Submissions folder becomes the property of NAAA. Although the aerial application video footage is intended primarily for possible use in a Peterson Farm Bros video and other aerial application 100th anniversary video projects, the association reserves the right to use (or not use) video footage members provide in other capacities. NAAA does not compensate for video submissions.


Here are the kinds of the aerial application video footage NAAA would like to collect:

  • Video of an ag aircraft going back and forth over a field.
  • Video showcasing precision application technology.
  • Video highlighting Operation S.A.F.E. pattern-testing activities.
  • Video of loaders and pilots in action.
  • Videos of aerial applicators entering and exiting their ag aircraft, particularly after the end of a satisfying day of work.

While they are not etched in stone, we hope the draft lyrics to “Sweet Line O’ Mine” fuel ideas as you consider what kind of aerial application video footage you may be able to share. Contributing to our ag aviation video library will assist in NAAA’s efforts to generate interest and publicity for the aerial application industry’s 100th anniversary in a variety of different ways.



Please contact NAAA’s Jay Calleja at jcalleja@agaviation.org if you have questions or need assistance uploading files to NAAA’s Ag Aviation Video Footage Submissions folder.

We’ve Added New Items to the NAAA Online Store: Shop NAAA Merchandise Today!

If you missed out on merchandise at the 2018 Ag Aviation Expo in Reno, NV, we’ve added some of that merchandise to the online store. NAAA’s eCommerce site is your one-stop shop for NAAA branded merchandise to show your pride for the association and we’ve got something for everyone. 



NAAA's online store gives members access to a wide range of NAAA branded clothing and accessories including jackets, t-shirts, hats, jewelry, drinkware, and much, much more. Members can also be able to purchase gift certificates for birthdays, holidays and special occasions. 


The NAAA Support Fundraising Committee will continue to provide brand-new items for sale at the NAAA Ag Aviation Expo in Orlando in November, which will later be available online beginning in the new year.


Show your pride and support NAAA by going online today at Shop.AgAviation.org and purchase your NAAA merchandise. 

If you have any questions regarding the items, you can email shop@agaviation.org or call us at 202.546.5722

2019 Award Nominations Deadline July 10

The NAAA Awards Committee has moved the 2019 awards nomination deadline up to July 10 to adjust for the 2019 Ag Aviation Expo’s earlier pre-Thanksgiving dates this year. The 2019 NAAA Award recipients will be honored Nov. 21 at the Excellence in Ag Aviation Banquet, but the committee depends on readers like you to nominate worthwhile candidates.


The aerial application industry is filled with exceptional people who go above and beyond the call of duty, often with little fanfare. Please help us identify these unsung heroes, and do it before you get into the thick of your season. There are nine NAAA Award categories and one NAAREF Award. Anyone can submit a nomination, but nominees must be members of NAAA.


The 2019 Awards Nomination Form is available as print-only and fillable PDFs at AgAviation.org/awards.

NAAA Award Categories

Agrinaut Award: Honors an agricultural aircraft operator or operating organization that has made an outstanding contribution in the field of ag aircraft operations. The recipient for the award must be or have been actively engaged in commercial agricultural application with an agricultural aircraft and the achievement cited should be a “state of the art” contribution for the benefit of the agricultural aircraft industry as a whole.


Allied Industry Individual Award: Recognizes an NAAA member or staff and/or an allied industry individual who has significantly contributed their efforts for the benefit of the allied industry and the aerial application industry. (Presented by the NAAA Allied Industry Committee)


Delta Air Lines “Puffer” Award: Recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the design of agricultural aircraft and/or related equipment.


Evans-Christopher Operation S.A.F.E. Award: Recognizes individuals or entities that have made outstanding contributions to the Operation S.A.F.E. program. (Presented by NAAREF)


John Robert Horne Memorial Award: Honors a pilot with five or fewer years of experience in the agricultural aviation industry who has an exemplary safety record and/or has contributed to safety in ag aviation.


Larsen-Miller Community Service Award: Recognizes outstanding contributions by a member to his community.


Opal & Bill Binnion Memorial Award: Acknowledges those who contribute to NAAA in its efforts to educate the public about aerial application. (Presented by the NAAA Support Committee)


Outstanding Service Award: Awards outstanding service to the commercial agricultural aviation industry or to its association.


Related Industry Award: Recognizes outstanding contributions by an allied industry member and his or her company.


William O. Marsh Safety Award: Recognizes significant achievements in safety, safety education or an outstanding operational safety program.


To make a nomination, send completed entries by July 10 to NAAA at (202) 546-5726 (fax) or information@agaviation.org.

$20K in Scholarship Aid Available for Aspiring Ag Pilots

How does $5,000 sound to help someone pursue their dream of becoming a professional ag pilot? Thanks to the generous support of BASF and Thrush Aircraft, $20,000 in aid is available under the 2019 NAAA “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship Program to assist four aspiring ag pilots in their journey.


NAAA awarded $5,000 scholarships to four aspiring ag pilots at the 2018 Ag Aviation Expo. From L–R, NAAA “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship recipients Parker Gore, Walter Meise, Will Souther and Emory Lobley, with Thrush Aircraft VP of Sales Eric Rojek and BASF’s John Sabatka, respectively. BASF and Thrush co-sponsor NAAA’s pilot training scholarship.

The goal of NAAA’s “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship Program is to strengthen the aerial application industry by helping operator members bring new pilots into the profession and help fund their training. Applicants must be sponsored by an NAAA Operator member, and scholarship recipients may use the proceeds for flight training or aviation or ag-related coursework at a university, college, community college or other institution of higher learning. A stipend for a trainee in an NAAA Operator-sponsored apprentice program is also permissible. The scholarship program is administered by NAAA and funded by educational grants provided by BASF and Thrush.


This year, NAAA will award up to four scholarships valued at $5,000 each. This is a win-win for NAAA Operator members and individuals seeking training funds to support their pursuit of becoming a professional ag pilot.

How to Apply

To be considered for the 2019 scholarship, along with completing the two-part application, every applicant must submit:

  • A letter of recommendation from the NAAA Operator member sponsoring the applicant.
  • An essay of 250 words or less explaining why you want to pursue a career in agricultural aviation and how you would use NAAA’s “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship to further your education and training.
  • A one-page résumé or list of activities detailing all agricultural and aviation experiences, education and training.

NAAA will award the recipients of the 2019 “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarships in November at the Ag Aviation Expo in Orlando. Last year NAAA awarded $5,000 scholarships to four young individuals who represent the future of ag aviation: Parker Gore of Cleveland, Miss.; Emory Lobley of Dalhart, Texas; Walter Meise of Moses Lake, Wash.; and Will Souther of Douglas, Ga.


To learn more about the 2019 NAAA “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship, please review the instructions included with the 2019 application. Please contact NAAA at (202) 546-5722 or information@agaviation.org for clarification about any of the application requirements.


While the applicant must be sponsored by an NAAA Operator member, NAAA membership is not a prerequisite for the person applying for the scholarship. Becoming an NAAA Associate member, however, is a great way for candidates to learn more about the industry and augment their training.


The deadline to apply for a 2019 “Ag Wings of Tomorrow” Scholarship is Aug. 31.

Want to Win Thousands in Educational Scholarships? Enter Our Support Scholarship Contest!

Attention, higher-education students: Don’t miss out on the opportunity to compete for a combined $3,000 in educational scholarships. The deadline for the 2019 Support Scholarship Essay Contest is Sept. 15. The NAAA Support Committee will award a $2,000 scholarship as top prize and Covington Aircraft Engines has generously agreed to sponsor a $1,000 scholarship.


The theme for this year’s contest is “What value does membership have to me?”  The scholarship is not restricted to pursuing a “flying career.” Any educational pursuit beyond high school (at any age) is eligible. The competition is open to all NAAA members and their family members.


Entrants must be a senior in high school or be registered in higher education by the fall semester of 2019.  Previous winners are not eligible to compete.


NEW THIS YEAR:  Submissions must be an essay of at least 1,500 words or a 5-minute multi-media presentation. Submissions should be sent as an email attachment by Sept. 15 to information@agaviation.org. More information about eligibility requirements, contest guidelines and sample essays from past scholarship recipients are available online here.