FS crop specialists are about more than just high yields. They're committed to stewardship and helping growers implement sustainable farming practices. Five are being recognized for their work with GROWMARK's Endure 4R Advocate award.
2018 Endure 4R Advocate award winners
· Tim Berkland - GROWMARK
· Gary Brandt - Gateway FS
· Courtney Mahr - West Central FS
· Sal Pustizzi - GROWMARK FS
· Todd Wibben – Evergreen FS
These five System crop advisers encourage and assist farmers in managing nutrients. This preserves the soil and protects water quality. They implement nitrogen management as a system. They promote the use of nitrogen stabilizers. They embrace the 4Rs of nutrient stewardship by using the right source, place, time, and rate of plant nutrients.
"This year's winners help set a high standard for our System," said Ryan White, GROWMARK director of agronomy marketing and agronomy services. "They are recognized as leaders amongst their peer group. They work with farmers to show them how sustainability and profitability can work together."
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
This is the third year for the award. The five winners will be recognized at the GROWMARK Annual Meeting and Agribusiness Symposium in August.
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.
Tim Berkland – GROWMARK
Tim Berkland is a strategic agronomy marketing manager for GROWMARK. He is based in Iowa and serves FS companies in the state, as well as Gold Star FS in Illinois and Insight FS in Wisconsin. He's previously served as a regional agronomist.
"I believe in good agronomic practices that reduce our customers risk, increase their income, make them more competitive, and ultimately make their lives easier (RICE). The 4R practices of nutrient stewardship help accomplish our mission of RICEing our customers."
Gary Brandt - Gateway FS
Gary Brandt serves as a crop specialist at Gateway FS. He has 25 years of experience. Before he was a crop specialist, Brand spent 18 years as a custom applicator.
"I try to maximize my farmers' profit and minimize environmental issues."
Courtney Mahr - West Central FS
Courtney Mahr is a Certified Crop Adviser with West Central FS. He has 20 years of experience in agriculture. He has served as a location manager and certified custom applicator.
"I feel it is important to use 4R management to help the environment and growers. Nitrogen management is an excellent way to help growers return more profit and be great stewards of the land and water. "
Sal Pustizzi - GROWMARK FS
Sal Pustizze is a sales representative at GROWMARK FS, based in New Jersey. He began his career with the company in 2006. His career in agriculture has roots dating back more than 40 years to his family's vegetable farm.
"The goal is to make the growers I work with more profitable while helping the environment at the same time."
Todd Wibben – Evergreen FS
Todd Wibben is a Certified Crop Adviser at Evergreen FS based in Maroa, Illinois. He has over 30 years of experience in the agricultural industry. Wibben has earned his the 4R Nutrient Management Specialist certification.
"4R stewardship is very important to me. I work with growers to help them develop plans with the most efficient use of nutrient purchases and the least amount of environmental impact, while maximizing yields."