Washington, D.C. – The Fertilizer Institute today announced the selection of John D. Jones as the Director of the Foundation for Agronomic Research. Jones will provide oversight of the 4R Research Fund, coordinate a 4R Researcher network, and support other strategies to advance 4R nutrient stewardship. The 4R Research Fund is a science-based research initiative aimed at improving agricultural sustainability by expanding knowledge of the 4Rs. The Fund is supported by the fertilizer industry and other stakeholders.

“John Jones brings a unique breadth of experience to the Foundation for Agronomic Research,” said TFI Vice President of Stewardship and Sustainability Lara Moody. “Having served as the primary agronomic advisor for a yield contest winning soybean farmer in Kansas to conducting instrumental research for understanding soil and phosphorus loss in Iowa and advocating for science policy that supports agricultural research on the local, state, and national level, John is uniquely-qualified to lead FAR.”

Jones holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy & Environmental Science from Kansas State University, and a Masters’ Degree in Soil Science-Soil Fertility from Iowa State University (ISU). At present, he is finishing his PhD in Soil Fertility and Sustainable Agriculture at ISU. He is a winner of the 2019 American Society of Agronomy Future Leaders in Science Award from the Tri-societies and a recipient of the 2018 Robert A. Sloan Award in Sustainable Agriculture from ISU. He has extensive agricultural retail experience organizing and leading on-farm research grower networks and implementing progressive agronomic practices that highlight profitability and input efficiency.

“John’s research, teaching, and industry experiences reflect the very scientific framework in which 4R nutrient stewardship is grounded,” said Moody. “He is adept in leveraging multiple sources of funding, coordinating multiple researchers and staff members, and strategically planning future research program directions and will be an asset to our nutrient stewardship efforts.”

TFI’s advocacy efforts during the last session of Congress resulted in identification of the 4Rs as a priority research area within the 2018 Farm Bill. This landmark legislation influences the United States Department of Agriculture’s research expenditures including National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant funds and the Agricultural Research Service research efforts.

The 4R Fund most recently awarded nearly $2.7 million to five research efforts in California, Arizona, Utah, Arkansas and the South (Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas) to projects focused on almonds, vegetables, tart cherry, potatoes, wheat, corn and corn silage, alfalfa, cotton, rice, and soybean. Those funds were leveraged with $3.2 million from multiple stakeholders to total $5.9 million in research.