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NewsCrop specialists earn award for advocating sustainable farming practices

Crop specialists earn award for advocating sustainable farming practices


GROWMARK recognizes five winners of Endure 4R Advocate award

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.  – Implementing nitrogen management as a system. Encouraging variable rate technology for fertilizer applications. Utilizing nitrogen stabilizers. These are some of the ongoing practices used by this year's Endure 4R Advocate award winners.

2017 GROWMARK Endure 4R Advocates

The winners are:

  • Adam Dexter – West Central FS – Williamsfield, Illinois
  • Don Jones – GROWMARK FS – New York/Pennsylvania
  • Jay Matthews – AgVantage FS – Charles City, Iowa
  • John Musser – Stephenson Service Company – Stockton, Illinois
  • Nicole Weber – FS PARTNERS – Ontario, Canada

It's not only about high yields. FS cooperatives remain committed to serving farmers in other ways. FS crop specialists across North America work with growers to manage nutrients sustainably. This helps preserve the water and soil.

This is the second year for the award. It's designed to encourage and promote 4R practices. The 4R approach to nutrient stewardship involves using the right source, place, time, and rate of fertilizer.

Agriculture industry professionals outside the GROWMARK System served as judges. The winners earn recognition at August's GROWMARK Annual Meeting and Agribusiness Symposium. They also get an all-expense paid trip to attend the event with their spouse.

Endure 4R Advocate award criteria

  • Knowledge and implementation of 4R nutrient stewardship principles as defined by The Fertilizer Institute
  • Assisting growers with implementing nitrogen management as a system
  • Promoting the use of nitrogen stabilizers
  • Implementation of N-WATCH™ nitrogen tracking services
  • Conducting MiField™ Applied Research on customers' farms
  • Use of variable rate technology for fertilizer applications

Adam Dexter (West Central FS)

Adam Dexter is a Certified Crop Adviser at West Central FS. He oversees the sales territory based in Williamsfield, Illinois. Earlier this year, he won The Fertilizer Institute's 4R Advocate award.

"4R nutrient stewardship is important to me because it is economically and environmentally the right thing to do," said Dexter. "Using the 4R approach helps us reduce losses while improving efficiencies."

Don Jones (GROWMARK FS) 

Don Jones is a Certified Crop Adviser at GROWMARK FS. He oversees seven locations with salespeople in New York and Pennsylvania. He has worked at GFS and predecessor companies since 1990.

"I live north of the Canandaigua Lake," said Jones. "We must preserve its integrity. I take pride in our use of the 4Rs, especially in the management of nitrogen."

Jay Matthews (AgVantage FS)

Jay Matthews is a Certified Crop Adviser at Agvantage FS, based in Charles City, Iowa. He is a 4R Nutrient Management Specialist and advises growers on seed, chemical, fertilizer, and precision farming needs.

"It is important to continue to show the world that we are growing crops sustainably and are good stewards of the environment," said Matthews.

John Musser (Stephenson Service Company) 

John Musser is a Certified Crop Adviser at Stephenson Service Company based in Stockton, Illinois. He has 37 years of experience in the agriculture industry and has worked at Stephenson Service Company since 1990. Musser is a 4R Nutrient Management Specialist and 2012 Certified Crop Adviser of the year. He also serves on the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association Board.

"The use of the 4R ideas is sound in how we deal with nutrients," said Musser. "This will improve our overall footprint we apply."

Nicole Weber (FS PARTNERS)

Nicole Weber is the Precision Ag Manager at FS PARTNERS. She works with their six main agronomy hubs across southern and central Ontario. Weber holds her Certified Crop Adviser and 4R Nutrient Management Specialist designations in Ontario.

"Not only are we utilizing the 4Rs to make nutrient recommendations based off of scientific principles and best management practices," said Weber. "There's also an environmental and economic benefit by minimizing losses and maximizing crop nutrient uptake."

"Sustainability is paramount to our System. Why? It's the right thing to do for the environment and farmer profitability."

Lance Ruppert, GROWMARK director, agronomy marketing

Working with growers on nutrient management provides a winning approach to sustainability, helping ensure agriculture's ability to endure over time.

About endure:

Endure is the GROWMARK System's sustainability initiative. Launched in 2016, it's designed to highlight and reinforce practices and programs that help the environment and greater good.