Custar facility certified for 4R stewardship

CUSTAR – The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that Legacy Farmers
Cooperative’s facility in Custar has been added to its list of nutrient service providers to achieve
certified status. It is one of the first three to be certified.
The certification comes less than a year after its launch. The other two of the initial certifications
were awarded to Morral Companies, LLC, Caledonia and The Andersons, Inc., Fremont.
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
Legacy Farmers Cooperative provides a wide variety of services across five Ohio counties with 11 grain
"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."
"These three facilities alone service approximately 270 farmers and 180,000 acres that are
implementing the 4Rs of nutrient stewardship, keeping the fertilizer in the fields to grow more crops,
not algae," said Carrie Vollmer Sanders, Western Lake Erie Basin project director for The Nature
Conservancy and chair of the Nutrient Stewardship Council which guides the program.
Approximately 50 facilities servicing more than one million acres in the Lake Erie Watershed in Indiana,
Michigan and Ohio have signed up to go through the certification program.
Vollmer Sanders, added, "We hope farmers across the basin work with their nutrient service provider
to become certified and manage their farm fields to increase soil health and reduce nutrients and soil
from leaving the fields."
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
For more information, visit, email [email protected] or call 614-326-7520.