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Learning How to Make Fertilizer

His name was Forest Garlough. He owned half of Southwest Fertilizer at the time. He was a good friend of my Dad’s. I sat at his kitchen table in the fall of 1983. I was in the process of getting my loans to start Nelson Plant Food. “Do you know how to make fertilizer?” he asked. My answer was, “No”. “Let me show you”, he said. He reached for a paper napkin and a pencil. “Here is how you make 15-5-10. You multiply 5% by 2000 and that gives you 100 lbs. of phosphorous. You have monoammonium phosphate with 52% phosphorous. Divide 100 by .52 and you get 192 lbs of MAP needed”. He continued through the nitrogen and the potassium to get the correct formulae for 15-5-10. He gave me the pencil and a new napkin and said, “Now make me a 13-13-13“. That’s how it all started forty years ago. What I learned is that just because I didn’t know how to do something doesn’t mean that I can’t do it. God gives us all talents and abilities to pursue our dreams. The challenge is for us to figure out what those are.

-Dean Nelson, Founder and Co-Owner

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