This pre-conference session is a unique opportunity for CCAs and agronomists to become designated in the company of their peers.

The 2018 CAAR Conference offers a unique opportunity to receive 4R Designation in an interactive, focused session, presented by Fertilizer Canada and led by an industry expert.

Participants of the workshop can learn the necessary course material, take the exam and get 4R designated in just one afternoon. The workshop will be facilitated by the creator of the 4R Designation course, Dr. Dan Heaney of Random Cross Consulting, who has been involved in the 4R program for the past decade.

Cassandra Cotton, director of sustainability at Fertilizer Canada, says taking the course from Heaney adds tremendous value over completing the training online.

“You receive the extra benefit of face-to-face interactions and being able to speak directly with Dr. Heaney,” says Cotton. “The workshop offers the chance for questions about specific practices or anything else related to the course.”

Interactive Value

Heaney agrees that the opportunity for personal interaction gives this event a large advantage over its online counterpart. Although he says the value comes not just from participants being able to interact with himself, but each other.

“When you get a group of agronomists together in a room, there’s so much collective wisdom,” he says. “That’s really critical – especially for the younger agronomists wanting to develop both their knowledge framework and their network of industry peers.”

Heaney also highlights the workshop as a chance to take a more detailed look at the material than what participants could do online.

“There’s a lot of information to cover, but there’s still going to be time for discussion,” says Heaney.

Walking the Talk

“4R Designation is becoming increasingly important for retailers and their customers,” says Lynda Nicol, director of member services at CAAR. “As a proud supporter of 4R Nutrient Stewardship, CAAR is thrilled to work with Fertilizer Canada to give our members this convenient opportunity to achieve designation.”

4R Nutrient Stewardship means applying the ‘4Rs’ – using the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place.

“By becoming 4R Designated, retailers can help their grower customers maintain international market access by demonstrating compliance with sustainability requirements,” says Nicol.

Heaney says sustainability compliance should be a priority for all agri-retailers because it demonstrates that the industry is “walking the talk” when it comes to nutrient management.

“It will create better outcomes for all members of the value chain if the industry self-regulates,” he says. “By participating in the 4R Program and having their staff trained in measurable nutrient management practices, retailers are helping their customers be able to say, ‘We’re sustainable and we can prove it.’ ”

Conversations that Resonate

One way that CAAR helps prove their members’ commitment to sustainability is through the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Agri-Retailer Award, presented annually at the CAAR conference since 2013.

The award, sponsored by Fertilizer Canada, is presented to a retailer who demonstrates commitment and leadership in the adoption of the 4R program. Achieving Designation is one of the ways companies can become eligible for the award in a future year.

“Members who are just starting out with 4R will have a great chance at the conference to speak with this year’s winner and past winners and learn about their experience with the program,” says Nicol.

Learning from others who have already implemented 4R practices into their business is invaluable. As Heaney points out, having the workshop before the official opening of the conference is a great way to share ideas and encourage meaningful discussions about nutrient stewardship.

“Holding the workshop before the conference begins a conversation that will resonate beyond the classroom,” says Heaney.

Don’t miss this excellent opportunity to gain the knowledge and designation you need to help your customers achieve sustainable nutrient management. Workshop registration is free of charge and CCAs taking the workshop will earn Continuing Education Units.

The 4R Designation Workshop will be held prior to the opening night Icebreaker Cocktail Reception at the 2018 CAAR Conference on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 from 12 – 4:30 pm in the Garden South Room at the Hilton Garden Inn.

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