Legacy Farmers’ Custar Facility Certified in 4R Nutrient Stewardship

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Oct. 13, 2014) – The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that Legacy Farmers Cooperative’s facility in Custar, Ohio has been added to its growing list of nutrient service providers to achieve certified status.

The voluntary certification program is a concentrated effort by the agriculture industry to significantly reduce and prevent applied nutrients from running off fields, which has contributed to harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie, such as the one responsible for the shutdown of Toledo’s water supply in early August.

Legacy Farmers Cooperative provides a wide variety of services across five Ohio counties. The company’s 11 grain facilities are able to market and handle grain, in addition to its five agronomy locations. Legacy Farmers Cooperative also owns Lawn & Pet, which carries pet food and supplies, livestock feed, grass seed, fertilizer and more. The co-op also serves the Hancock County area with its propane delivery service, featuring petroleum and lubricant products for farm, residential, commercial and industrial uses. Legacy Farmers Cooperative also manages two petroleum cardtrol fuel stations.

“Our organization has a focus on making sure we use best management practices when applying and recommending nutrient applications to work towards the goal of protecting water quality for our generation and the next,” said Mark Sunderman, president and CEO of Legacy Farmers. “It is important to make sure that the nutrients applied for crop production are staying in the field for crop uptake. This certification is a tribute to the practices of our employees and customers working together to do things the right way.”

The program certifies that individuals and entities in the Western Lake Erie Basin that sell, apply or make recommendations on how fertilizers should be applied to crops are doing so in accordance with 4R Nutrient Stewardship principles — which refers to using the Right Source of Nutrients at the Right Rate and Right Time in the Right Place. Applicants must go through an audit and demonstrate they not only understand 4R principles, but also follow them.

“We’re proud of the work Legacy Farmers continues to do in being recognized as a 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certified facility,” said Chris Henney, president and CEO of the Ohio AgriBusiness Association, which serves as the administrator of the program. “By participating in the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program, Legacy Farmers’ Custar facility has proven its commitment to the long-term improvement of Lake Erie’s water quality.”

Approximately 50 facilities servicing more than 1 million acres in the Lake Erie Watershed in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio have signed up to go through the certification program.

The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program is governed and guided by the Nutrient Stewardship Council, a diverse set of stakeholders from business, government, university and non-governmental sectors with a common goal of maintaining agricultural productivity while also improving the quality of Lake Erie and its contributing watersheds. The program is administered by the Ohio AgriBusiness Association. For more information, visit 4Rcertified.org, email info@oaba.net or call 614-326-7520.

MEDIA: Download a high-resolution photo of Legacy’s Custar facility receiving its 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certified sign.