The Fertilizer Institute has revealed the 2020 4R Advocates, five farmer and retailer pairs who have teamed up to turn the 4R Nutrient Stewardship principles into practice, yielding economic and environmental benefits on their farms.
“For nine years we’ve been honoring the true champions of 4R Nutrient Stewardship – the farmers and retailers who take risks to implement innovative fertilizer management and conservation practices,” said Lara Moody, TFI Vice President for Stewardship and Sustainability. “I’m thrilled that this year we’ve added 10 more excellent advocates who have so clearly demonstrated the real-world success of the 4Rs on their farms.”
The 4R Advocate Program has recognized 90 growers and retailers, farming 215,006 acres in 22 states. The 2020 Advocates represent two new geographies – Pennsylvania and Texas – and two new crops – cotton and sugarcane. For nearly a decade, these leaders have farmed as examples by championing sound nutrient stewardship.
The 2020 Advocates are:
- John Hundley and Eric Hopkins, Hundley Farms, Belle Glade, Fla.
Tim Stein, Wedgeworth’s Inc., Belle Glade, Fla.
- Brian Ryber, Ryberg Farms, Buffalo Lake, Minn.
Mike Welter, Central Region Cooperative, Buffalo Lake, Minn.
- Jeff O’Bannon, Morgan-O’Bannon Family Farm, Madison, Mo.
Todd Ragsdale, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Paris, Mo.
- Mike Kurek, Susquehanna Orchards, Delta, Pa.
Tim Hushon, The Mill, Red Lion, Pa.
- Jeremy Brown, Broadview Agriculture, Inc., Lubbock, Texas
Taylor Allison, Eco-Drip Irrigation, Abernathy, Texas
The Advocates will be honored at an awards banquet hosted by TFI at the 2020 Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas, where they will also represent the 4R program during the Commodity Classic tradeshow. Throughout the year they will also be part of TFI’s outreach efforts to promote fertilizer management practices by hosting farm field days, participating in conference panels, and speaking on behalf of 4Rs to their farming peers.
The 4R Advocate program is one of many facets of a high-priority campaign to raise awareness and adoption of 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices. Fertilizer is a key component of sustainable crop production systems, and the fertilizer industry recognizes the need to efficiently utilize these nutrients. 4R Advocates and other farmers have partnered with The Fertilizer Institute to demonstrate how 4R practices have led to cost-efficiencies and improved environmental outcomes on their fields. More information and data on their efforts is available at 4RFarming.org.
4R Nutrient Stewardship provides a framework to achieve in-field goals, such as increased production and profitability, enhanced environmental protection, and improved sustainability. The 4R concept incorporates practices that use the right fertilizer source at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place.