OVERLAND PARK, Kansas – The National Agri-Marketing Association has honored Raymond Hoyum, vice president, market development and communications, for IMC Global, with the NAMA Marketer of the Year award.

The award will be presented at the Best of NAMA/Golden ARC Awards that kicks off this year's 2004 Agri-Marketing Conference & Trade Show, "Make Your Mark" in Kansas City, Mo. on April 14.

NAMA recognizes its active members with senior management of marketing and/or sales responsibilities with the NAMA Marketer of the Year award. This award is NAMA's most prestigious honor awarded to active members of the association and honors outstanding accomplishments in the field of agri-marketing.

Over the last four years, Hoyum has spearheaded a soil fertility education program known as Back-to-Basics. In 1997, after reviewing a nationwide analysis of soil tests, the Potash & Phosphate Institute (PPI) revealed evidence that nearly half of the nation's soils were testing average to below average for both potassium and phosphorus.

At the same time, low commodity prices were causing many growers to cut back on their fertilizer inputs. However, it is estimated that approximately one third of a crop's yield can be attributed to fertilizer alone.

As a leader in the fertilizer industry, IMC Global felt it was their responsibility to deliver this message to the marketplace. Hoyum provided the leadership necessary to implement this multi-faceted Back-to-Basics program and served as the chief spokesperson to the media, customers and centers of influence.

The Back-to-Basics program was an effort that clearly set IMC apart. By looking at a key agricultural issue – soil fertility management – and addressing it on behalf of the entire industry, IMC was able to show vision and leadership. Because of this approach, it was felt that the Back-to-Basics program had a very favorable impact on fertilizer sales, particularly in the fall of 2000 and spring of 2001 but in subsequent years as well.

Early in the program, when some were unsure of the impact Back-to-Basics could have, Hoyum tirelessly stayed with the concept. Even though people liked the idea from the very start, he knew that on-going support and encouragement on his part were necessary to maintain momentum. By staying the course, Hoyum's program helped IMC hold market share at a challenging time of company reorganization and market re-prioritization.

Hoyum has been involved in this and many other educational initiatives during his career in the fertilizer industry. He has organized and conducted several three-and-a-half week international fertilizer management seminars for international fertilizer executives. This unique program is an intensive management program that includes in-class instruction and in-the-field learning at mines in Canada and the United States; farms and dealerships in Illinois and Indiana; and at historic and agriculturally significant sites in California, Florida, New Mexico and Washington D.C.

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