Endure 4R Advocates are individuals throughout the FS System who have been recognized for supporting growers in sustainable best management farming practices, demonstrating economic and environmental benefits. Sustainable best management farming practices are demonstrated by:
The 4R philosophy is an innovative and science-based approach that offers enhanced environmental protection, increased production, increased farmer profitability, and improved sustainability. The concept is to use the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time, with the right placement. For fertilizer use to be sustainable, it must support cropping systems that provide economic, social, and environmental benefits for growers. Implications of the 4R nutrient stewardship system will spread far and wide through agriculture and society as a whole.
GROWMARK Inc. sponsors the Endure 4R Advocate recognition program.
CHRIS Snip- AGRIS Co-operative
Chris Snip is a Certified Crop Advisor and has worked at AGRIS Co-operative, based in Ontario, Canada, for 16 years. He is also an active member of Delta Waterfowl, The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, and a board member of the local Soils and Crop Association.
"I started really showing appreciation for the 4R approach after I witnessed a large algae bloom in the western basin of Lake Erie in the fall of 2011," said Snip. "I live on a tributary of Lake Erie. Across the road from the lake, my family and I spend a lot of time in and on the water and consuming fish from the lake. I hated to see the lake that way. I felt I could play an important role in reducing nutrient loss from agricultural lands in my trade area. I work with growers individually to help them come up with ways that can reduce nutrient losses on their farm operation that work with their cropping practices and equipment capabilities while maximizing nutrient utilization and profitability," he added.
Rick Klevze – GROWMARK FS
Rick Klevze is the location manager at the GROWMARK FS Bloomsbury, New Jersey location. He has over 35 years of experience and has been a Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) since 1994.
"The 4R approach is a sensible way to balance environmental concerns with the economic needs of the farmer," said Klevze. "It uses sustainable agronomic practices learned from 2,000 years of agricultural progress to maximize fertilizer efficiency and minimize nutrient losses. It is a concise visual device which communicates to the public that production agriculture cares for our environment, while maximizing food production for an increasingly hungry world. My co-workers and I utilize 4R practices for the benefit of our customers and our community," he added.
Malcolm Stambaugh- Ag View FS
Malcolm Stambaugh joined Ag View FS in 2008 and is a crop specialist in Walnut, Illinois. Stambaugh has worked with farmers to be recognized by The Fertilizer Institute's 4R Advocate Program three years in a row. He also worked with another farmer to win the World Forage Analysis Superbowl at the World Dairy Expo three years in a row and another to win the Pursuit of Maximum Yield contest.
"In concept, a lot of producers are using the 4Rs because they make sense and provide an economic advantage," said Stambaugh. "As an industry, we need to better tell our story to show consumers and other producers how it works. We are being the best nutrient stewards we can be while protecting the environment for future generations. Our role is to partner with growers to establish best management practices. A grower's willingness to push the envelope is only tempered by our requirements to increase yield, do it profitably for the grower, and have an environmentally neutral impact. This expands well beyond product-related decisions," he added.
Jason Wesslund- Heritage FS
Jason Wesslund is the area manager for the eastern half of the Heritage FS territory based in Gilman, Illinois. He supervises four agronomy locations and four energy territories. Wesslund also leads education and training of sustainable best management practices at Heritage FS. He serves on the board of directors at the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association.
"I use the 4R approach to make recommendations because it fits into what many of us have already been doing," said Wesslund. "The biggest change has been how we approach nitrogen applications from using learning tools like N-WATCH. We have adapted our recommendations from one trip of nitrogen to two and three trips per season. If we don't promote better practices to our growers, we will be told what practices to use and we all know that isn't the answer to a sustainable future in agriculture," he added.
Logan Haake- Legacy Farmers Cooperative
Logan Haake is the precision ag manager for Legacy Farmers Cooperative. In his role, he leads all precision planting, climate, grid sampling, field scouting, variable rate prescriptions, and other precision ag programs for Legacy Agronomy. Haake is a Certified Crop Adviser, serves on the Ohio CCA Board and is currently working towards his 4R Nutrient Management Specialty certification. Haake has worked to get all five of their agronomy plants to be 4R certified. They are the first in Ohio to have all locations approved.
"Following the 4R approach is both environmentally and economically sound for our growers," said Haake. "If we want to be sustainable in the future, all four components of the 4R approach will get us there. Not over applying by using VRT and precision, and applying the product at the right time is very critical for our growers' success," he added.