The Foundation for Agronomic Research (FAR), in conjunction with The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), is striving to enhance nutrient stewardship in crop production. FAR, a nonprofit research and outreach foundation, embodies a mission to improve the research, education, economic vigor, and sustainability of agronomy in North America while mitigating environmental impairment.
I am fortunate to have been chosen as the Director of FAR and began serving July 1. I will work from the TFI offices but will venture into your areas often. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy and environmental science from Kansas State University, I worked as a master agronomy adviser associate with WinField United in Colorado and Kansas. Following a two-year tenure, I began a graduate program in the Iowa State University Department of Agronomy, pursuing a Master of Science degree in soil fertility in 2017 and doctorate in soil fertility and sustainable agriculture, which I will graduate with in December.
The research I conducted for my Ph.D. aligns perfectly with 4R Nutrient Stewardship principles. It focused on phosphorus management for agronomic benefits as well as mitigating water-quality impairment in Iowa cropping systems. The work examined soil and water analyses methodologies for phosphorus, correlating and calibrating phosphorus soil tests for crop response, and better understanding how phosphorus fertilizer application strategies affect crop productivity and phosphorus loss.
Soil fertility and nutrient management are foundational pieces of sound, sustainable, and productive agronomic systems. Additionally, nutrient management decisions have greatly impacted soil resources and water quality. The underlying science that supports soil fertility concepts and the impressive applicability of the discipline had me hooked from a young age.
As director of FAR, I will provide oversight of the 4R Research Fund, coordinate a 4R Researcher network, and support other strategies to advance 4R nutrient stewardship relating to scientific inquiry and policy engagement. I look forward to delivering agronomic science to key stakeholders via a concise yet explanatory message by working with researchers to identify key knowledge gaps within sustainable nutrient management.
The 4R Research Fund is a science-based research initiative aimed at improving agricultural sustainability by expanding knowledge of the 4Rs. The fund is supported by the fertilizer industry and other stakeholders.
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship principles are not static practices. They are dynamic concepts that work in multiple, diverse agronomic systems and geographies. My goal, with your support, is to lead FAR to discover more ways we can apply responsible nutrient management that supports the agricultural and food systems on which we all rely.
I look forward to working with the exceptional team at TFI and you all.