Five American farmers and their fertilizer retail partners have been named as 4R Grower Advocates for 2015 by the Fertilizer Institute (TFI). The winners represent growers and retailers across the nation who are dedicated to the 4Rs of nutrient stewardship - using the right nutrient source at the right rate, the right time and in the right place.

The 2015 4R Grower and Retailer Advocates, are:

• Matthew Clements, J.R. Simplot Company, Grandview, Idaho, and Dr. Terry Tindall, senior agronomist with Simplot Grower Solutions, Boise, Idaho. Clements manages 38,000 acres of a multiple-crop operation. On-farm trials, strip tilling and using direct-seeding tillage equipment for corn, triticale and wheat have improved yield and profitability.

• Joel Erickson and Andrew Kappes, sales agronomist with South Dakota Wheat Growers, both of Langford, South Dakota. Erickson farms 1,500 acres with his farther, Don and his brother, Mark. Soil sampling, tissue sampling and soil prescriptions ensure proper nutrient delivery so for their corn, wheat, soybeans and alfalfa.

• Chris Heintz, Heintz Farms, Lakeview Ohio, and Kevin Doseck, Crop Protection Services, Botkins, Ohio. Heintz operates a 21,000-acre family farm with his wife, Shelly and his parents, Bill and Lois. Grid soil sampling and in-season tissue sampling are but two practices that have helped them turn the 4Rs into an investment with a solid ROI.

• Sean Jones, Lester C. Jones and Sons, Inc., Massey, Maryland, and Michael Twining with Willard Agri-Service, Worton, Maryland. Jones runs a farm that includes 1,500 acres of grain and forage, 1,000 of which are irrigated. Most of the crops are fed to their 1,250 dairy cows, 1,400 heifers, dry cows and calves. They match forage and feed needs to a GIP-based recordkeeping system, a crop analysis and farm and dairy production records to develop a nutrient management program that supports cropping objectives.

• James Schoff and Malcom Stambough, crop specialist with Ag-View FS, both of Walnut, Illinois. Schoff farms 2,300 acres of corn and soybeans with his farther, Ray and cousins Bill and Ron. Soil conservation practices, soil sampling, incorporating yield data into fertility recommendations and yield maps have helped build better soils and increase yields.

These winners were awarded an expense-paid trip to the 2015 Commodity Classic in Phoenix, Arizona, February 26 - 28, where they were honored at an awards banquet hosted by TFI. The 4R Grower and Retailer Advocates will also be part of TFI's outreach efforts to promote nutrient management practices that benefit farmers and their communities, as well as the environment.

The 4R Advocate program is one of many facets of a high-priority campaign to raise awareness and adoption of 4R nutrient stewardship practices.