Ronnie "Geno"

Kennedy, Jr.

Ronnie "Geno" Kennedy, Jr. is presently serving as President of Operations for Agriment Services, Inc., a North Carolina company of Waste Management Consultants with over 300 facility clients, mostly intensive swine operations, and 20 years of experience in animal waste management systems. In this position, Mr. Kennedy provides swine, dairy and poultry facility owners with a variety of waste management system services to insure compliance with pertinent local, state, and federal rules, regulations, and standards established for the enhancement of water quality and the general environment of North Carolina. These services include the design, construction, monitoring, sampling, land application, and overall operation of intensive (confined) livestock operations. Mr. Kennedy also heads up the ASI Bio Product Development Program and our New Ag Insurance and Realty and Auction Program. He is a State (North Carolina) designated technical specialist, granted under authority of the North Carolina Soil and Water Conservation Commission and according to the North Carolina Administrative Code, T15A:OGF.005., which authorizes Mr. Kennedy to implement the Non-discharge Rule for Animal Waste Management Systems throughout the state and provide technical assistance/guidance to swine operations, operators, and owners in North Carolina. 

"THE SLUDGE EATERS"

By Alan Newport | Aug 15, 2005

"The Technology Used To Clean Up Oil Spills Is Proving Effective In Mopping Up Sludge From The Bottom Of Hog Lagoons."

About 10 years ago, Ronnie “Geno” Kennedy began to wonder whether the same bacteria used to clean up oil spills would eat the sludge from the bottom of hog manure lagoons.
After all, petroleum and lagoon sludge both form under anaerobic bacterial conditions. They also form many of the same chemical compounds — methane gas, hydrogen sulfide gas, alcohol compounds, low-pH organic acids, and highly toxic phenols.
Kennedy was concerned because, in his line of work, helping North Carolina pork producers meet environmental regulations, he was seeing some problems with sludge buildup and a resulting lack of lagoon effluent capacity.
In 1995, he called a company in the Midwest that sold bacteria for oil spill cleanup and proposed his idea.
 “They were busy selling huge amounts of their product to companies to clean up these big oil spills and hardly thought I was worth talking to,” he says. “But I told them about the hog industry in North Carolina and how many lagoons were out there. They got excited about the possibilities.”
The company brought a compressor and some diffuser lines to lay on top of the sludge to help stir the lagoon water, Kennedy explains. They also brought many buckets of their product, put it into the old lagoon and lowered the sludge from 5 ft. to 1½ ft. within just a few months.
“They used a lot of product,” he adds.
At that rate, Kennedy knew the biological process would not save much, if any, money above mechanical methods of sludge cleanout. So he began experimenting with lower bacterial rates, longer time frames, and higher rates of diffused air to stir the lagoon water.
Today, Kennedy believes he's arrived at a winning combination of time, bacterial supplementation, air movement and economics. His company, Agriment Services, Inc. (ASI) has 22 systems in operation in his home state of North Carolina.
He says his combination over a period of three to five years will reduce sludge volumes 25% to 75%, and reduce emissions of hydrogen sulfide, among the most offensive odors from lagoons. Kennedy also says lagoons undergoing his treatment will have lower levels of biological oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), volatile fatty acid (VFA), ammonia, total suspended solids and volatile solids concentration, and a higher redox potential.
Cost comparisons
Kennedy offers two cost comparisons. In one, he says conventional stirring and pumping costs from 2-8¢/gal. of actual sludge removed. His biological/air mixture has driven system costs down to ¾-1½¢/gal. of actual sludge removed.
In another comparison, he offers cost estimates from a real lagoon. With a need to remove 44,400 lbs. of sludge, conventional removal would cost $10,384 compared to $3,248 with his process. Breaking it down further, conventional removal costs $233.87/1,000 lbs. vs. $73.15/1,000 lbs. with his process.
Kennedy's price estimate of $10,000 for conventional sludge removal via dredging, or agitating and pumping, may actually be low in North Carolina, says Patrick Fussell, an environmental specialist with one of the state's soil and water conservation districts.
The cost eight or 10 years ago for complete mechanical closure of a lagoon of the size required to serve two finishing buildings was $10,000. Today, the same size lagoon could cost $40,000 to $60,000 to close.
Fussell is careful not to endorse Kennedy's system because of the nature of his job, but says he's seen some positive results. “I can't endorse it, but I can't say anything bad about it, either,” he says. “I hope it works out because it will be a lot cheaper for the farmers.”
Several of Kennedy's customers see this process as a pre-emptive measure, a way to spend a little money upfront to avoid spending a large amount later.
“My sludge wasn't a major problem when I started, and I'm using the system more as a preventive maintenance program,” says Bud Rivenbark, a Rose Hill, NC, contract hog producer.
Rivenbark says he had 2.5 ft. of sludge in his lagoon when he started with Kennedy's biological program more than two years ago. Sludge levels have dropped 8-10 in., he says.
“I've seen some pretty positive results from it and it's certainly been worth the money,” he adds.
He plans to add the biological system to his other lagoon this year.
How it Works
Kennedy's system begins with the addition of compressor-driven air diffusers lying on or in the sludge layer of the lagoon. It oxidizes the hydrogen sulfide and turns it into sulfate. That initial process helps to detoxify the lagoon and prepare it for organic matter breakdown.

 

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OUR HISTORY

1994

Agriment is formed to help Swine Producers in NC transition to potential environmental regulations. Agri (Agriculture) ment (Environment)

1995

After a large swine farm lagoon failed in Onslow County, NC. Regulators draft and enact new rules and programs affecting swine farms all across NC. Agriment Services is the first company in NC positioned to help swine producers across the state with our new Basic Monitoring Program. The State Division of Water Quality asks all farms to issue information and register as a swine farm in NC.

1996

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) modifies design and performance standards on farms using the anaerobic lagoon and spray field technology. Agriment Services designs and approves new hog operations under the new regulations.

1997

NRCS modifies lagoon designs to include extra sludge storage and adding freeboard along with heavy rainfall factor built in the design. Agriment Services moves forward to help expanding producers by designing farms with the new criteria. NC Division of Water Quality incorporates a yearly inspection program for all Swine Farms in NC. The Basic Monitoring Program continues to add new producers charging a fee for record keeping and conducting inspections with the Division of Water Quality.

1998

Basic Monitoring Program continues to grow and the State of NC enacts a moratorium on swine farms which prohibits new farms from being built in NC.

1999

Agriment Services begins researching swine waste to develop innovative manure management products to help with odors and sludge/nutrient management. Agriment Services begins to develop small mixing systems that work in conjunction with various biological products. Product blends are developed to sale to producers. Agriment Services is now selling services and for the first time products. Agriment Services hires Jonathan Miller to help with Basic Monitoring Programs.

2000 

Agriment Services continues to grow the Basic Monitoring Program and names Ronnie "Geno" Kennedy, Jr as President/CEO of Agriment Services Inc. North Carolina continues to have commissions and committees that interpret new rules and regulations related to hog farms.

2001

Manure Management Products are developed and refined along with various innovative hardware to sell to producers. Agriment Services is selected to enact programs in San Joaquin Valley in California on dairy farms.

2002-

2004

New rules require that each farm's irrigation equipment be calibrated and sludge measured in anaerobic lagoons determining volume and depth yearly. This catapults Agriment Services into providing these services and developing programs to address sludge buildup. Yearly measurement requirements bring sludge issues into the spotlight. These changes brought demand for Agriment Services products and sludge management programs.

2005

Agriment Services led the design of a farm that met criteria to be built under moratorium conditions. Agriment Services consulted with the farmer to sell the permit to build, the land and provided the waste management plan.

 

Agriment Services was solicited by several banks to make Environmental Assessments of swine farms. Agriment Services is selected to do waste management work in Kansas and featured in the September 2005 edition of National Hog Farmer as an innovator in biological treatment of swine waste.

2006

ASI Realty is born to sell swine and poultry farms in NC. Ronnie G Kennedy, Sr. is named Broker in Charge.

2007

NC Senate Bill 3 was signed into law to enhance renewable energy in NC by mandating the use of byproducts from swine and poultry farms to create energy. Solar and Wind Energy was also mentioned in this bill. Agriment Services was hired as lead consultant to work with Renewable Energy Companies looking to combust poultry manure into electricity. 

2008-

2009

Agriment Services continued to grow the base of services and secured warehouse space in the Midwest and east coast for product distribution. Farm sales increase dramatically.

2010

Agriment Services was selected as a vendor to Hogslat, a leading global supplier for the pork and poultry industry.

2011-

2012

Agriment Services invested in new sludge management equipment which enhanced our sludge management programs.

2013

Sludge Buster Boat™ programs were born along with the formation of sister entities to handle various programs surrounding sludge/liquid transport of materials. Renewable Energy came back to light and much consulting and understanding was conducted in this arena. 

2014

Agriment Services developed affiliations that enhanced and put the "rubber to the road" on various concepts surrounding Renewable Energy, Sludge and Lagoon level management, and continued to enhance our current programs. Agriment Services cultivated the right connections to help producers with their Ag Insurance needs. Agriment Services joined with Snipes Insurance to provide needed options for confinement insurance. The insurance program allowed Agriment Services to offer AG insurance to our ASI Realty buyers.

2015-

2017

Agriment Services continues to consult with national renewable energy companies to provide blending and transport of renewable qualified materials from Swine and Poultry operations. 

 

Agriment Services was selected for major projects to manage lagoon and sludge levels for some of the largest swine integrators in the country.

 

Agriment Services markets bio-products internationally.

MEET OUR TEAM

Jonathan K. Miller

Jonathan K. Miller has been with Agriment Services since 1998 and heads up our Record Keeping and Monitoring Division. Mr. Miller is a skilled technical engineer that understands all federal and state requirements and components of animal waste management systems. Jonathan is well respected by all field regulators and brings many benefits to our clients with his 14 years of technical livestock waste management experience. Mr. Miller also serves his community as the Assistant Chief of the Albertson Volunteer Fire Department.

 

Ronnie G. Kennedy Sr

Ronnie G. Kennedy, Sr is broker-in-charge of Agriment Realty, an affiliation of Agriment Services, Inc. Mr. Kennedy, a former fighter pilot and officer in the US Marines, brings to the business integrity and thirty years' experience in real estate and environmental issues.

Eric Houston

Eric Houston, PMP of CLE Associates is the newest member of our team and is an Environmental / IT Project Manager in charge of helping our clients manage permitting, compliance and mitigation related to our new construction and site preparation projects. Additional duties include interpreting permits and other environmental documents, as well as developing compliance assurance plans and inspection procedures. Eric has expertise regarding permits and regulations; submitting documents and applications properly is vital to obtaining project approval. Eric brings to our team 20 years of experience in IT, environmental compliance and Project Management.

Below are listed the credentials for Ronnie G. Kennedy, Jr.

Mr. Kennedy takes pride in providing his clients with both experience and proven training. 

BS, URBAN & REGIONAL PLANNING, GEOLOGY
EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY, GREENVILLE, N.C.
MAY 1993

 

SURVEY, LAYOUT, DESIGN OF

CONSERVATION PRACTICES
U.S. DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE, RALEIGH, N.C.
AUGUST, 1993

 

NUTRIENT MGT. PLANNING
U.S. DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE, RALEIGH, N.C.
DECEMBER, 1994

 

REGULATORY IV, INTERAGENCY
WETLANDS IDENTIFICATION
U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, WILMINGTON, N.C.
OCTOBER, 1995

 

STATE TECHNICAL SPECIALIST
DESIGN & INSTALLATION OF WASTE
UTILIZATION PLANS
N.C. DIVISION OF SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION, RALEIGH, N.C.
MAY, 1996

 

ANIMAL WASTE MGT. SYSTEM
OPERATOR CERTIFICATION
N.C. DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES, RALEIGH, N.C.
JUNE, 1996

 

LAND APPLICATION/RESIDUALS
OPERATOR CERTIFICATION
N.C. WATER POLLUTION CONTROL SYSTEM OPERATORS COMMISSION, RALEIGH, N.C.
JUNE, 1996

 

SPRAY IRRIGATION SYSTEM
OPERATOR CERTIFICATION
N.C. WATER POLLUTION CONTROL SYSTEM OPERATORS COMMISSION, RALEIGH, N.C.
JULY, 1998


WETTABLE ACRE DESIGNATION
N.C. DIVISION OF SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION, RALEIGH, N.C.
MARCH, 1999


ON-FARM ODOR/ENVIRONMENTAL
ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
NATIONAL PORK PRODUCERS COUNCIL
MAY, 1999


GRADE 1 BIOLOGICAL WASTE WATER OPERATOR
N.C. WATER POLLUTION CONTROL SYSTEM OPERATORS COMMISSION, RALEIGH, N.C.
JULY, 2001


USDA REGISTERED TECHNICAL SERVICES PROVIDER
TSP-03-2397