Attention to improvement of nutrient stewardship has been, is, and remains the focal point of many ag and environmentally-related associations and organizations. Whether toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie, the Des Moines Water Works water quality challenges in Northwest Iowa or continued concern over Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico, agriculture is perceived to be a challenge to water quality. Illinois leads the way with new, innovative tools and services to improve and demonstrate production agriculture’s stewardship efforts and retain ownership of nutrient management at the farm gate with programs, such as 4Rs of Nutrient Stewardship[i] , Keep it 4R Crop[ii], the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy[iii], or the Nutrient Research and Education Council (NREC). To continue our effort to lead the nation with nutrient stewardship education and outreach we need to reach out to our young developing minds for help.
This program takes the stewardship message directly to our high school students that will shape production agriculture of the future. The projects are designed to challenge secondary education students to learn about nutrient use, and help discover better ways to approach nutrient stewardship. This project will hopefully inspire young minds to consider agriculture as a career option and continue their education into areas of Illinois production agriculture. The project will also serve as an outreach program for local farmers. The information gathered will help learn more about the behavior of soil N and should provide insight helpful when farmers make N management decisions. Visit our site and see for yourself. www.nu-tracker.com
[i] Trademark of The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), 425 Third Street, SW, Suite 950, Washington, D.C. 20024. Ph. 202-962-0577. www.tfi.org
[ii] Trademark of the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association, 14171 Carole Drive, Bloomington, IL 61705. Ph. 309-827-2774. www.ifca.com
[iii] Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 1021 North Grand Ave. East, P.O. Box 19276, Springfield, IL 62794, Ph. 217-782-3397. www.epa.illinois.gov
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