Nutrients For Life Foundation Celebrates 10 Years Teaching Fertilizer Education

Nutrients for Life Foundation Teacher
Nutrients for Life Foundation’s STEM-based curriculum bolsters science programs, promotes students’ critical thinking and a global view, and helps youth connect responsible fertilizer use to sustaining a growing population.

Those in agriculture know fertilizer is a vital ingredient to grow strong, productive crops. In fact, fertilizer is responsible for 50% of the world’s food production. However, growers, crop nutrient suppliers and fertilizer manufacturers risk their social license to operate if the public doesn’t understand the benefits of fertilizer and its role in producing nutritious food.

The only education voice for fertilizer, Nutrients for Life Foundation, is celebrating 10 years in the classroom this year. The Foundation provides teachers with free science-based resources that meet national and state teaching standards.

“Fertilizer truly is life’s main ingredient and we need healthy soils to grow plants that become nutritious food,” says Harriet Wegmeyer, executive director of Nutrients for Life Foundation. “Our goal is to teach tomorrow’s leaders the importance of fertilizer in feeding an ever-growing world population.”

Since it was founded in 2004, nearly 30 million people have been impacted by a touchpoint with Nutrients for Life Foundation resources and outreach. The Foundation’s first curriculum “Nourishing the Planet in the 21st Century” for high school and middle school was published in 2007. It has since published an elementary version of the curriculum, built digital resources and a partnership with Discovery Education, and created environmental science curriculum for advanced placement (AP) courses. Its resources are distributed roughly equal among urban, suburban and rural schools, and Nutrients for Life Foundation reaches more than five million students annually.

“Few people understand how much science goes into producing an ear of corn or a bright red strawberry,” says Wegmeyer. “By presenting content that is science-based and discussing the social, economic and environmental challenges of growing food with limited land and resources, we’re empowering the next generation of innovators and decision-makers.”

Without Nutrients for Life, plant nutrients and soil science topics would not be taught in many schools. The Foundation’s STEM-based curriculum bolsters science programs, promotes students’ critical thinking and a global view, and helps youth connect responsible fertilizer use to sustaining a growing population.

“It’s important for students to understand these elements come from the earth and they are nutrients that we need for our bodies. It’s the same potassium that’s on the periodic table, that’s in the ground, that helps the plant grow,” says Melinda Nunnikhoven, a middle school science teacher using Nutrients For Life curriculum.

A new video filmed in Nunnikhoven’s classroom shows students interacting with the curriculum:

A united voice for the fertilizer and agriculture industry

Legislative, regulatory and non-government organization activities, including legal action pertaining to nutrients in the environment, are taking place on national, regional, state and local levels. Without engaging communities and building public trust, the fertilizer industry and agriculture faces a losing proposition.

“Most people have no idea how progressive we are as an industry. For example, our growers are implementing 4R Nutrient Stewardship to use fertilizer responsibly and protect the environment,” says Lindsey Verhaeghe, corporate responsibility specialist for Agrium. “We’re working with students today because they are our next generation of employees, growers, stakeholders and consumers.”

The Foundation’s supporting members recognize education as essential to demonstrating agriculture’s sustainability efforts to the public. The nonprofit’s on-the-ground representatives work in priority regions to build relationships in local communities.

Verhaeghe says she uses Nutrients for Life resources to promote the benefits of fertilizer with a shared voice and because the content is vetted and credible with teachers.

“Education is the responsibility of all of us. Contributions from companies large and small, and individual donors, help carry a strategic effort that educates our communities and protects the future of agriculture,” says Verhaeghe.

Leave a Reply

Fertilizer Stories

Flooded corn in Indiana
FertilizerBoth Wet and Dry Conditions Threaten Nitrogen Loss
May 15, 2017
The weather is notoriously unpredictable, leading to challenges for planting, harvesting and applying the nitrogen (N) your corn crop needs. Read More
Iowa waterways
FertilizerDow AgroSciences Recognizes Ag Retailers’ Role in Protecting Iowa Water Quality
April 6, 2017
The state of Iowa and its agriculture community have worked for decades to preserve soil health, protect water quality and Read More
Yara West Sacramento Ribbon Cutting
Crop InputsYara West Sacramento Is Newest Addition
March 27, 2017
Yara’s West Sacramento Terminal was officially welcomed March 21 as the newest Yara North America facility in the U.S. While continually Read More
Growing corn
Crop InputsLock Down Nitrogen For 2017 Profits
March 5, 2017
Managing nutrient programs to snuff out the three types of nitrogen loss — leaching, volatilization, and denitrification — is crucial Read More
Trending Articles
Migrant farm workers
LegislationTrump: Immigration Crackdown Won’t Impact U.S. Agriculture
May 16, 2017
President Donald Trump said he would seek to keep his tough immigration enforcement policies from harming the U.S. farm industry Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
Eric SfiligojRemembering Robert Ratliff
May 15, 2017
With all the fast-paced happenings in agriculture this spring, with multiple mergers in the works and planting season in full Read More
Case sprayer nozzle closeup
EquipmentSpray Application: A Nozzle Renaissance
May 2, 2017
If you had asked four-decade ag veteran Mark Bartel, President of Wilger Inc., just a few years ago what lay Read More
ManagementWashington Update, Dow-DuPont Earnings, and the Passing of an AGCO Legend
April 27, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the latest Beltway news, crop protection company 1st quarter numbers, and the Read More
Crop InputsFlying Under the Radar No More, FMC Goes Big
April 13, 2017
Describing FMC as “under the radar,” admittedly, is probably a stretch. But in a snap of the fingers, FMC upped Read More
Young Corn Plants
Crop NutritionStill Hunting Yields
April 1, 2017
There’s no denying it — the agricultural marketplace today is undergoing a fundamental shift in fortunes. Not too many years Read More
Latest News
Eric SfiligojMonsanto ‘Picks Its Battles’ by Nixing Deere Deal
May 23, 2017
Having been in the trade journalism game since the mid-1980s, I remember several watershed moments during my career. One of Read More
FungicidesSyngenta Launches New Seed Treatment Fungicide
May 22, 2017
Syngenta has announced the launch of PLENARIS seed treatment fungicide for the control of downy mildew in sunflower. PLENARIS contains Read More
Corn close up
Crop InputsMonsanto’s First HPPD Herbicide Garners EPA Appro…
May 19, 2017
Monsanto announced today that EPA has federally approved Harness MAX Herbicide, the first herbicide in the Monsanto portfolio to provide Read More
ManagementPrecision Planting Deal, China Developments, and Enviro…
May 18, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Dan Jacobs discuss the latest news on John Deere’s now dead deal for Precision Planting, China’s Read More
Soybean aphid leaf
InsecticidesMulti-state Research Reveals IPM Best Option for Treatm…
May 17, 2017
About 89.5 million acres of soybeans will be planted across the U.S. in 2017 — a record high, according to Read More
GROWMARK-2017-Interns
CropLife 100GROWMARK Names 2017 Summer Interns
May 16, 2017
Forty-two college students are exploring agricultural career opportunities this summer as GROWMARK interns. They are working at FS member cooperatives Read More
Migrant farm workers
LegislationTrump: Immigration Crackdown Won’t Impact U.S. Ag…
May 16, 2017
President Donald Trump said he would seek to keep his tough immigration enforcement policies from harming the U.S. farm industry Read More
Flooded corn in Indiana
FertilizerBoth Wet and Dry Conditions Threaten Nitrogen Loss
May 15, 2017
The weather is notoriously unpredictable, leading to challenges for planting, harvesting and applying the nitrogen (N) your corn crop needs. Read More
farmer Kip Tom
Precision AgAg Tech: On the Cusp of Something Big?
May 15, 2017
The investment and ag-tech sectors’ continuing courtship of agriculture, smoldering for three or four years now, was well in evidence at Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
Eric SfiligojRemembering Robert Ratliff
May 15, 2017
With all the fast-paced happenings in agriculture this spring, with multiple mergers in the works and planting season in full Read More
Greg Musson, Gar Tootelian
ManagementOpinion: Shaking Your Perspective in Ag Retail
May 12, 2017
Some of you I’m sure have encountered our recently retired salesman extraordinaire, Dan Bellanger. He worked in the industry for Read More
Exterior view of CPS Big Lake facility which includes enclosed receiving and load out area
CropLife 100New Alternative Weed Resistance Traits Could Experience…
May 12, 2017
It wasn’t too many years ago that ag retailers and their grower-customers could hardly wait for new options to fight Read More
Diane Allemang and Dan Jacobs
Crop InputsFMC Agricultural Solutions, Casa Pacifica Partner to He…
May 11, 2017
FMC Agricultural Solutions is teaming up with Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families, an organization that supports vulnerable children Read More
UncategorizedWhat’s Up With ARA
May 11, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj talks with Brian Reuwee regarding what issues are on the docket for the Agricultural Retailers Association. Read More
BASF Maglis tablet retailer grower
Precision AgQ&A: What BASF’s Latest Foray into Precision …
May 11, 2017
In late April, BASF agreed to acquire U.S. precision ag player ZedX, a leader in the development of agronomic weather, Read More
Pam Marrone
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Enters into Distribution Agreem…
May 11, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc., a leading global provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products for the agriculture markets, Read More
Bayer
Crop InputsBayer to Sell Liberty Business to Seal Monsanto Deal
May 8, 2017
Bayer has agreed to sell its Liberty herbicide and LibertyLink-branded seeds businesses to win antitrust approval for its acquisition of Read More
Trump, Senate, Cabinet
LegislationTrump’s EPA Appointee Dismisses Half of Major Sci…
May 8, 2017
(Via NYTimes.com) EPA has dismissed at least five members of a major scientific review board, the latest signal of what Read More