GROWMARK and local FS member cooperatives are recognizing 26 sustainable farming operations for the inaugural Enduring Farm awards. These farms were nominated for the award for their implementation of sustainable nutrient management practices such as following the 4R principles for all nutrient applications, monitoring nitrogen levels through soil sampling, and implementing variable rate technology for phosphorous applications. Nutrient management cropping practices were implemented during the 2017 growing season and all Enduring Farms will be provided N-WATCH services to measure results of a nutrient management trial conducted on their farm during the 2018 growing season.
GROWMARK’s Chuck Spencer says nominations for Enduring Farms recognition were submitted by each grower’s FS crop specialist based on specific sustainable practices implemented on their farms. “There’s a structured system of point evaluations for implementing specific practices,” says Spencer. “We’re watching this continued build of pride for the recognition that ‘I’m a sustainable production entity.’”
Spencer says because sustainability is so critical for agriculture, GROWMARK implemented the Endure initiative in 2016. “That is very simple to explain – it’s those practices that endure over time,” said Spencer.
Carrie Muehling visited with Chuck Spencer this week at GROWMARK headquarters in Bloomington, Illinois to learn more about this award program and the cooperative’s overall commitment to sustainability initiatives. Spencer is Executive Director for Corporate and Government Relations at GROWMARK. The winners and a full list of specific criteria can be found here: https://www.fssystem.com/Sustainability/Enduring-Farms.