Phoenix, Ariz. (Feb. 25, 2015)
– Andrew Fansler is a rare commodity these days—a first-generation farmer whose farming career was born from a passion for the soil, for growing things, and for the lifestyle and value system which are part of agriculture. Fansler is also the newly-minted winner of the 2015 Young Farmer Sustainability Award
presented by Bayer CropScience, and part of a growing cadre of young, ambitious farmers committed to making sustainable agricultural and business practices a priority as they tackle the challenge of producing ever more food, feed and fiber for a growing world population.
Each year, Bayer recognizes an agricultural producer age 40 or under who demonstrates entrepreneurial initiative and new approaches to farming, sustainability efforts and economic stability. The 36-year-old Fansler, owner of Fansler Farms of Shelbyville, Indiana, received the award today during the 10th annual Ag Issues Forum, a Bayer CropScience-hosted thought-leadership event.
“When I think about sustainability, what comes to mind are the many ways we as agriculture producers must strive to sustain not only profitability, but the factories in which we work - our land,” says Fansler. “Sustainability to me means being both financially sustainable and biologically sustainable. I strive to sustain and better everything I do!”
Fansler Farms is a 4,600-acre grain operation producing soybean seed for national seed companies, conventional beans for export, yellow and white food-grade corn for the food processing industry and commodity corn. Fansler founded his business in 1995 on 42 rented acres at the age of just 16, trading labor for the equipment he needed to plant his first crop.Twenty years later, Fansler Farms employs six additional staff members, and is a high-performance, multi-million dollar operation built around sustainable farming and business practices.
Some of the primary environmental sustainability measures employed by Fansler and his team in the field include no-till, crop rotations and environmentally-friendly nutrition practices, fueled by a desire to reduce the operation’s footprint and enhance the quality of the land and soil farmed. On top of no-till, Fansler utilizes cover crops to improve soil nutrition and actively manages nutrient usage through variable-rate planting, soil testing, tissue sampling, GPS-guided fertility application and yield monitoring. He is an active participant in the Conservation Stewardship Program, utilizing CRP grassed waterways and buffer strips, and he invests heavily in field tiling and other land improvements as needed each year.
From a business perspective, Fansler Farms’ guiding principle is that farming must be about “business, not just driving a tractor.” Fansler and his employees take time to make decisions based upon data, experience and sound judgment to ensure that each time they add acres, plant, harvest, or grow, the move is intentional and well-planned to minimize the risk of failure. They also focus on smart and creative marketing, both of their grain as well as their business, in order to take full advantage of profit and expansion opportunities. A third quality that sets Fansler Farms apart from other farming operations is the First Generation Indiana Farmer Named Top Young Sustainable Farmer Bayer CropScience Celebrates 5th Young Sustainable Farmer Award Recipient youthfulness of their farm team– the oldest person working on the farm is 43 years old – which they believe is a competitive advantage as they take pride in their ability to embrace change and new opportunities.
“Both on paper and in person, it’s clear that Andrew Fansler is an exceptional individual who embodies the passion, dedication, instinct, technical know-how and business savvy needed to be a successful and sustainable farmer today,” says Jim Blome, president and CEO, Bayer CropScience LP. “His love of farming and the entrepreneurial approach to business that he’s demonstrated ever since he was a kid is truly inspiring, and American agriculture is lucky to have him as a next-generation leader. We are proud to name him this year’s Young Farmer Sustainability Award winner and look forward to watching Andrew and Fansler Farms become even more successful in the future.”
In addition to farming, Andrew owns his own real-estate brokerage, and is considered the premier regional expert on agricultural land values and investments. He is also active in his community, serving on the local Farm Credit Advisory Board and working with local elementary schools to educate the next generation about agriculture and where food comes from.
Andrew Fansler is the fifth recipient of the Young Farmer Sustainability Award, joining 2014 honoree Bryan Boll
, 2013 winner Jeremy Jack
; John Shepherd
, 2012; and Ryan Kirby
, first recipient of the award in 2011.
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About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, has annual sales of EUR 8,819 million (2013) and is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 22,400 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at: www.press.bayercropscience.com
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