The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) and its members (including CHS) will celebrate the first annual Global Fertilizer Day this coming Thursday, October 13. Organized by TFI and a network of international organizations, the day is dedicated to spreading the word about the vital role our industry plays in improving peoples’ lives. As Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has said on numerous occasions, two out of every five people in the world owe their lives to fertilizer.
A generation ago, a Nobel Peace Prize winner proclaimed the same message. He was the great-grandchild of Norwegian immigrants, attended a one-room schoolhouse through the eighth grade, and failed his first college entrance exam. But when he was finally admitted to the University of Minnesota, Norman Borlaug took a Depression-era job with the Civilian Conservation Corps to pay for his tuition and living expenses. Through that experience he met hungry people and saw the way having enough food changed them.
Despite his humble beginnings, he went on to do great things. For over a half-century, his scientific and humanitarian achievements kept starvation at bay for millions of people in Third World countries. As a result of his work, global food production everywhere other than sub-Saharan Africa has increased faster than the population.
But Borlaug’s story doesn’t end there. In addition to his scientific work, he was a tireless advocate of fertilizer use and other modern agricultural practices. He remained active into his nineties, traveling, speaking and teaching.
On October 13th we encourage you to remember Borlaug’s shining example of what it means to engage the public on behalf of the fertilizer industry. To make the job easier, TFI, the Global Fertilizer Day Coalition and the Nutrients for Life Foundation have assembled tools to help you spread the word.
They highlight interesting facts and figures, including:
- Half of all the food grown around the world today, for both people and animals, is possible through the use of fertilizer.
- The fertilizer industry contributes more than 452,000 American jobs and in excess of $139 billion to the U.S. economy.
- U.S. farmers are using fertilizer with amazing efficiency, growing 87 percent more corn today with just 4 percent more fertilizer than they did in 1980.
If each of the industry’s 84,000 employees took time to spread just one of these messages on social media or through personal interaction, just think of the impact it could make.