Sunrise Cooperative Facilities Achieves Year Four Certification in 4R Nutrient Stewardship

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Continuing their commitment to improving water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin, Sunrise Cooperative facilities in Attica, Ballville, Crestline, and Norwalk have achieved certified status for year four through the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program.

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 water quality issues in Lake Erie. Facilities are required to meet certain program goals each year to retain certified status.

With the program in its fifth year, the Sunrise Cooperative facilities in Attica, Ballville, Crestline and Norwalk are among the first to achieve year four certified status.

“We believe there is more that can be done to keep our water and nutrient sources pure, so we have adapted the 4R Nutrient Stewardship concept within our organization,” said Daniel Kirk, precision solutions manager for Sunrise. “At Sunrise Cooperative we focus on the environment and our surrounding world to make it a safe place for everyone.”

Sunrise Cooperative operates 15 grain locations, 14 agronomy locations, seven energy locations and five feed locations with 6,452 customer-owners. Sunrise is a leading agricultural and energy cooperative spanning from the Ohio River to Lake Erie. Sunrise is 100-percent farmer-owned and is governed by a Board of Directors elected by their members, and return patronage to their members based on the cooperative’s financial performance each fiscal year. Sunrise Cooperative is under the leadership of President/CEO George D. Secor.

“Working with Sunrise Cooperative, I know I’m getting the best management practices brought to my farm, and the most up to date technology advances to help drive those decisions,” said Doug Phenice, farmer and Sunrise customer. “Knowing Sunrise is a 4R certified retailer assures me that everything we do has the best impact for my farm and community.”

The 4R Program certifies nutrient service providers in the Western Lake Erie Basin and across the state of Ohio that apply or make recommendations 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. Program participants must go through an annual, independent, third-party audit and demonstrate they not only understand 4R principles, but also follow them.

Approximately 2.91 million acres and more than 6,300 grower customers are serviced by the 50 facilities in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana that have earned 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification.

“The certification program is an ongoing effort for participants and we are proud of the continued commitment shown by Sunrise Cooperative,” said Andrew Allman, executive director of the Nutrient Stewardship Council.

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, its contributing watersheds and all of Ohio’s waterways. The program is administered by the Ohio AgriBusiness Association. For more information, visit 4Rcertified.org, email info@oaba.net or call 614-326-7520.