SFP Commemorates 15 Years of Helping Farmers Grow Food More Efficiently
Posted on November 22, 2013
Topics: Industry Insight
The history of SFP® is rooted in the experiences of Dr. Larry Sanders, SFP president and CEO. Growing up on a family beef cattle and hay farm, Sanders saw firsthand how fertilizer inefficiencies impact farmers. Based on his family’s experience, he noticed as farmers, they were applying fertilizer to their crops, but they weren’t always seeing a response from that investment. Recognizing the issue as a universal struggle for all producers regardless of the crop, Sanders felt the need to solve the age-old problem of fertilizer inefficiency, to not only help the farmer, but also improve the environment.
In 1998, Sanders and John Hardy, SFP COO and general counsel, formed SFP in Belton, Mo. with the focus of developing additives to make fertilizers more efficient. Starting with five employees, the company spent its first seven years in research and development, testing products and obtaining patents for their technology. A polymer patent filed in 2000 became the backbone for future SFP products. After several years of research and trials, SFP launched AVAIL® Phosphorus Fertilizer Enhancer in 2005. Shortly following AVAIL, SFP launched NutriSphere-N® Nitrogen Fertilizer Manager two years later. These products spurred growth in the company and expanded distributor relationships.
By the 10-year anniversary in 2008, SFP had grown to 20 employees. Needing a larger office space, the company moved into the current headquarters in Leawood, Kan. in 2009. That same year, SFP had reached the international market and was ranked by Inc. Magazine No. 1 of “100 Fastest Growing Manufacturing Companies in America.” In 2011, SFP received the “Mr. K Award” Small Business of the Year from the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, which honors growth, sustainability, community service and positive employee relations.
Continuing with its commitment to improving fertilizer efficiency, SFP launched More Than Manure® (MTM®) Nutrient Manager in 2012. This past year, SFP has received two major awards, “Most Admired Alumnus” by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” by Ernst & Young for the central Midwest. Furthermore, the company has reached a record of more than 60 employees.
To commemorate the past 15 years of success, as well as the bright future for SFP, the company held a special celebration in honor of Sanders and Hardy. Even with tremendous expansion as a company, family ties and core values remain deeply ingrained. A fundamental message throughout the event was the motivation for developing the company and the products SFP makes available for farmers to grow food more efficiently all while helping to increase their bottom line. Sanders and Hardy reflected on the “early days” and the challenges and triumphs the company has experienced since then. With a persistent focus on research and development, they shared an excitement for the future opportunities to support producers, not only across the country, but also around the world.
Evolution of SFP
- Dr. Larry Sanders and John Hardy form SFP
- SFP files first patent
- SFP files first polymer patent, which becomes the backbone of future products
- SFP launches AVAIL® Phosphorus Fertilizer Enhancer
- SFP launches NutriSphere-N® Nitrogen Fertilizer Manager
- SFP ranks #28 in “500 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America” by Inc. Magazine
- SFP ranks #1 in “100 Fastest Growing Manufacturing Companies in America” by Inc. Magazine
- SFP ranks #3 in “Corporate Report 100” by Ingram’s Magazine
- SFP receives “Mr. K Award” Small Business of the Year by Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
- SFP launches More Than Manure® (MTM®) Nutrient Manger
- SFP receives “Best Companies to Work For” Small Companies by Ingram’s Magazine
- SFP receives “Most Admired Alumnus” by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
- Dr. Larry Sanders wins “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” for the Central Midwest by Ernst & Young
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