One week ago today I was in Chicago, attending the Top Producer Magazines Executive Women in Agriculture Conference.  More than 125 women from 25 states came together discuss everything from fertilizer efficiency and commodity marketing strategies to property insurance and succession planning, plus social media and agvocacy.

I believe Celeste Settrini of Settrini Ranch in Salinas, Calif., stated it most eloquently when she wrote, “I walked away with a keener sense of purpose to my industry and a whole new network of extraordinary friends.  I realized that all of us came from so many different backgrounds we all shared in one common trait and that was the passion we shared for American Agriculture!”

While talking with women from all walks of life last week, I was reminded that we all have a story to tell and need others’ help in telling it.  Too many times the uninformed and the misinformed are telling the story of agriculture, so myths and half-truths replace facts.

“Nothing but the facts” has become the mantra of the Nutrients for Life Foundation, which informs the public of the role of nutrients in both the production of nutritious, abundant food and preservation of healthy green spaces through the development of educational resources and an outreach campaign to people across the country.

All information developed by the Nutrients for Life Foundation is based on soil and plant science and supported by agronomists, including those at the International Plant Nutrition Institute. Its educational materials are based on a curriculum that has been reviewed by the Smithsonian Institution, and more than 4,000 requests have been fulfilled in the past five years.

Click here to see how teachers and students are benefitting from this hands-on curriculum.  Click here to learn how to you can request the curriculum for your local school.  As a Girl Scout leader and a Cub Scout den mother, I’m eager to see how this curriculum can help my troops earn badges!

Also included with this campaign is a series of recipe cards that help “plant a positive message” about the role nutrients play in growing the foods we all love.  Try the following recipe for Raspberry Crumb Bars (with a dash of potassium) and use it as a conversation-starter with your family this holiday season!

RASPBERRY CRUMB BARS with a dash of potassium


Necessary Ingredients:

  • NPK to grow the raspberries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 4 cups fresh raspberries
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch



  1. Preheat the oven to 375°
  2. Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour and baking powder.
  4. Mix in salt and cinnamon, if so desired.
  5. Use fork or pastry cutter to blend in the shortening and egg. Dough will be crumbly.
  6. Pat half of the dough into the prepared pan.
  7. In another bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch.
  8. Gently mix in the raspberries.
  9. Sprinkle the raspberry mixture evenly over the crust.
  10. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.
  11. Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes or until top is slightly brown.
  12. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

This recipe is courtesy of the Nutrients for Life Foundation.  To learn more about how fertilizer feeds the world, starting with your own family, visit


  • Fertilizers are drawn from nature – they are not man-made.
  • Farmers are not adding fertilizer to the ground. They are replacing nutrients that are lost each harvest.
  • Fertilizer use is responsible for 40 to 60 percent of our food supply.
  • By helping to conserve land, fertilizers safeguard recreational land and wildlife habitats.
  • Farmers care about the environment as much as anyone.


The most important ingredient in this – and every recipe – is fertilizer.  A dash of potassium, a pinch of nitrogen and a sprinkle of phosphorus grew the raspberries for these bars.  Drawn from nature, fertilizer helps kids grow up healthier and live longer lives because it adds both nutrition and taste to the foods we love.

Photo from Taste of Home