4R Advocate Program: And The Winners Are …

Raising awareness and adoption of 4R nutrient stewardship is a top priority for The Fertilizer Institute (TFI). Currently, TFI is promoting the 4Rs at agricultural trade shows, member company visits and other 4R speaking engagements, and eventually will begin advertising the 4R brand through print, radio and online media outlets.

What does it mean for a nutrient management system to be 4R consistent? The 4R nutrient stewardship concept defines the right source, rate, time and place for plant nutrient application as those producing the economic, social and environmental outcomes desired by all stakeholders in the soil-plant system. The 4R approach is based on using best management practices (BMP) derived from the best available science to manage nutrient resources in ways that increase sustainability.

While we’re finding that 4R messages from the fertilizer industry are being well received, we also recognize the power of agricultural retailers and their producer customers in sharing 4R success stories. These testimonials from the field level will play a critical role in adoption of 4R nutrient stewardship practices. As a result, TFI has launched a 4R Advocate Program to recognize agricultural retailers and agricultural producers that are leading the way when it comes to implementing 4R nutrient stewardship on the farm.

Honoring 4R Excellence

Last fall, TFI launched the inaugural 4R Advocate Pro­gram to recognize agricultural retailers and agricultural producers that are leading the way when it comes to implementing 4R nutrient stewardship. The 4R Advocate winners and their retail nominators will receive a free trip to the Commodity Classic and will be recognized on the www.nutrientstewardship.com Website.

In this, the inaugural year of the 4R Awards Program, 37 retail facilities submitted grower nominations for the program. An overwhelming majority of the nominations were top-notch, and our independent panel of judges had a tough task selecting the winners. From those nominated, TFI has selected five 4R Grower Advocates. Grower advocates and the retailer nominator are receiving an all-expense paid trip to the 2012 Commodity Classic on March 1-3 in Nashville, TN. While there, the growers and retailers will participate in an awards banquet and in TFI’s booth at the expo. Additionally, we will work with the winning growers and their retailers to explore additional outreach opportunities for the inaugural year of this program.

The 2012 4R Grower Advocate winners and their nominating retailers are:

  • Paul Loyer, Loyer Farms, Marion, OH – A 3,000-acre corn, wheat and soybean farm; nominated by Morral Companies, Morral, OH.
  • Todd Welch, Lafayette, IN – A 2,300-acre corn, wheat and soybean farm with 25,000 hogs; nominated by Crop Production Services, Delphi, IN.
  • Barry and Dan Turner, Turner Brothers Farm – A 5,600-acre corn, soybean, rice and milo farm; nominated by Crop Production Services, Mer Rouge, LA.
  • Temple Rhodes, Chestnut Manor Farm, Centerville, MD – A 2,200-acre corn and soybean farm with 150 beef cattle; nominated by Willard Agri-Service of Lynch, Worton, MD.
  • Bruce Favinger, Minden, NE – A 1,800-acre corn and soybean farm; nominated by Cooperative Producers, Inc., Hastings, NE.

Participation in the program is an excellent means by which retailers can showcase their 4R services and highlight their top customers. We encourage all CropLife® magazine readers to learn more about the program and consider nominating one of their grower-customers in 2012. Sign up for updates on next year’s program and other 4R news by visiting www.nutrientstewardship.com.

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