The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) launches the 2014 4R Advocate Awards Program this week with a call for entries from retailers wishing to highlight the exceptional nutrient stewardship practices of their grower customers.  The 4R Advocate Award program, now in its third year, recognizes farmers who are protecting the environment, boosting profitability and benefiting society through nutrient stewardship practices based on the 4R’s (use of the right nutrient source at the right time, at the right rate at the right time and in the right place).  Under the program rules, farmers are nominated by their retail dealers who are also recognized with 4R awards.

“The farmers honored in the 4R Advocate program know that environmental protection and economic prosperity are not mutually exclusive,” said TFI President Chris Jahn. “This award program adds value to the 4R nutrient stewardship initiative by engaging growers and retailers with peers who can share their fertilizer best management practices success stories.”

In 2014, five winning growers, a spouse or companion and their nominating retailers will be awarded an expense-paid trip to the Commodity Classic, scheduled for Feb. 27-March 1 in San Antonio, Texas. The Commodity Classic is the once-a-year, can’t-miss event for America’s soybean, corn, wheat and sorghum farmers. At the Classic, 4R Advocate winners will see the latest agricultural innovations first-hand, meet other growers and agricultural leaders from across the nation, and will be honored at an invitation-only banquet.

2013 4R Advocate winners Rick and Jesse Brunner, of Fifth Generation Farms in Almira, Wash., recently spoke about the importance of 4Rs in preserving their land for future generations. “The 4R program epitomizes our philosophy to farm management. We strive to improve our overall soil health, to limit our environmental impact, and to increase our profits while continuing the farm legacy we received.” Videos featuring interviews with the Brunners and other 4R Award winners may be found at

Entries for the 2014 4R Advocate Awards are due on November 12, 2013.  A nomination form, information about past winners, and additional details on the program are available at Winners will be announced in mid-December. For further information on the program or 4R nutrient stewardship, please contact TFI Director of Stewardship Programs Lara Moody by telephone at 202-515-2721 or via e-mail at [email protected].