The Nature Conservancy and The Fertilizer Institute Join Forces in Nutrient Stewardship Partnership


June 15, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Nature Conservancy and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) today announced a new partnership in support of farm practices that result in clean water. The two organizations signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at ensuring American agriculture has access to tools to use fertilizer with maximum environmental and economic efficiency.

The Conservancy and TFI announced the agreement at TFI’s 4R Summit in Indianapolis, Ind., an event that drew farmers, research scientists, government officials, industry and other stakeholders together for two days of information exchange. The agreement lays out a framework for leveraging the organizations’ respective strengths in pursuit of the following mutual goals:

  • Increase scientific understanding of the benefits of nutrient best management practices to both the farmer and the environment. 
  • Communicate and demonstrate the economic, environmental, and social value of nutrient management to the broader agriculture and conservation communities. 
  • Develop and promote outreach activities that advance 4R nutrient management strategies (right source, rate, timing, and placement). 
  • Establish metrics that reinforce increased collaboration and cooperation. 

“With such deep roots and a strong voice in the agriculture industry, TFI’s commitment to improved water quality is a win-win for both conservation and farmers,” said Larry Clemens, director of The Nature Conservancy’s North America Agriculture Program. “We are pleased to partner with TFI, and together, we will work to empower farmers with the conservation tools they need to grow bountiful crops while improving the health of our rivers, streams and oceans.”

“Nutrient stewardship using 4R principles is a top priority for the fertilizer industry,” said TFI President Chris Jahn. “Our industry believes that all plant nutrients must be applied using a measurable and recognized 4R nutrient stewardship framework. Our pursuit of this outcome will get a tremendous boost from partnering with an organization of the Conservancy’s strength and credibility."

The MOU is premised on the mutually held belief that farmers can remain profitable while protecting the environment. The steps outlined in the agreement include watershed level monitoring projects, learning events such as forums, field days and farm level projects, educational materials development and ongoing information sharing between the Conservancy and TFI.

“The science of sustainable agriculture has come a long way in the last decade. Through this partnership, we will share proven science-based approaches to nutrient management with the farming community and provide technical tools to improve crop production while reducing nutrient runoff into our waterways,” said Clemens. “Together, TFI and the Conservancy can make a lasting impact on our farms and our environment.”

“The Conservancy has a proven track record of leadership on nutrient issues in challenged watersheds,” continued Jahn. “We look forward to building on these successes through this cooperative agreement.”


The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) is the leading voice of the nation’s fertilizer industry. TFI’s membership includes fertilizer producers, wholesalers, retailers and trading firms. TFI’s full-time staff, based in Washington, D.C., serves its members through legislative, educational, technical, economic information and public communication programs. Find more information about TFI online at and follow us on Twitter at @Fertilizer_Inst. Learn more about TFI’s nutrient stewardship initiatives at and on Twitter at @4rnutrients.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect the lands and waters on which all life depends. Together with its more than 1 million members and 600 scientists, the Conservancy has protected 120 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide, and operates more than 100 marine conservation projects globally. The Conservancy works on the ground in all 50 US states and more than 35 countries. To learn more, visit