Julie Hewitt of the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council presents during Soil Health Week’s The Art and Science of Soil Health Advocacy in Action Day Thursday March 7, 2024 at the Illinois State Capitol: 

I’m with the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council and pleased to be here on behalf of our board of directors to talk to you for just a minute about the investments that Illinois farmers and retailers make into research around water quality and soil health through NREC.

For those that aren’t aware of the program, we were actually created by state statute and we appreciate all the support … Farmers pay an assessment on … fertilizer that they use, that comes into the organization. And since we started in 2012, we’ve been able to invest over $35 million on behalf of Illinois farmers and retailers into nutrient research.

And we are very pleased to be able to work with our board of directors, which are actually appointed by Director Costello, to represent different organizations throughout our industry … because we know that soil health is important.

We know that water quality is important, but we also know that there’s so much of it as Michael would say, the art and we are the science part of that piece of the puzzle, and making sure that we have research that is tested, you know, not just at a university level, but also on farms so that we can make sure we’re making recommendations again to farmers and researchers for practices that meet the agronomic, economic and especially the environmental needs of our farms. So, thank you so much.

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