Celebrating one year of IFA’s Sustainable Fertilizer Academy
One year has passed since the launch of IFA’s Sustainable Fertilizer Academy (SFA), the industry’s engaging e-learning experience. The platform offers quality education that enables anyone interested in fertilizers to enhance their understanding of sustainability, covering topics from fertilizer sourcing and production to farm usage. As we mark the end of our successful first year of operation, we briefly reflect on the successes and challenges of the past 12 months and look ahead to what the next year will hold.
On launching the Academy, IFA set out on a mission to not only educate fertilizer companies about sustainability but also to inspire the industry's transformation globally. In support of this mission, 32 classes featuring 44 videos from 45 international subject matter experts were made available to IFA’s membership on 1 September 2022. Six months later, this wealth of information was made available to everybody, when the Academy opened to non-IFA members. Today, as we near 200 enrolled students, with more than 50 of them already certified by IFA, the SFA has become the international knowledge hub on sustainable fertilizers. One of its classes, ‘Technology Innovation and Novel Fertilizers’, was watched by close to one million agronomists in China, when it was streamed online by one of IFA’s Chinese members.
This month, the SFA will welcome nearly 800 new students as we launch our first ‘À la Carte’ offering with the Brazilian government and a number of local agricultural universities. Offering tailored content that appeals to varied professional and educational backgrounds enables a more engaging and relevant experience. This tailored approach has already sparked the interest of institutions in other regions such as Africa, and of companies who want to educate their stakeholders about sustainable fertilizers.
Our ongoing commitment to continuous improvement has led to the enhancement of the SFA’s learning experience, with a particular focus on ensuring our classes are accessible to a global audience. We have implemented English and Spanish subtitles to all classes and more languages such as Arabic will be added shortly, with the aim of ensuring that language barriers do not impede students’ learning. In addition, we strive to keep our curriculum up to date through consultation with dedicated SFA advisors and taking on board feedback from our graduates – one example of this being the implementation of a course titled ‘Introduction to Fertilizers’, which is targeted specifically at non-IFA members.
The early successes of the Academy have already been recognized by both the European Society of Association Executives and the Association of Association Executives, with the SFA reaching the finals of both organizations’ prestigious education awards. This important external recognition serves as a testament to the impact we have achieved and encourages us to keep striving for excellence in this domain.
As we mark the conclusion of this exciting first year, IFA and the SFA team want to express our gratitude to each student, instructor, founding partner and supporter who has been part of this journey – we could not have done this without you!
If you are interested in enhancing your team's professional skills through the SFA, please feel free to reach out directly to IFA’s SFA leader Alexandra Dorison (firstname.lastname@example.org), to me or visit www.ifa-sfa.org.