Ag Community Launches Responsible Commitment to a Cleaner Lake Erie

13th Mar 2014 4R Consistent,4R Partners,Northern Great Plains,

regulations are being considered, the agriculture community is launching a
proactive, responsible commitment aimed at the long-term improvement of Lake
Erie’s water quality.

Harmful algal blooms in the Great Lake and
other bodies of water in the area have been on the rise the past five years,
leading to increased water treatment costs and negative impacts on fishing and
tourism. Farmers have taken many actions to improve soil health and reduce fertilizer
runoff, but nutrients leaving fields and entering streams and lakes continue to
contribute to water quality problems.

A new 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification
Program is encouraging agricultural retailers, service providers and other
certified professionals in the Western Lake Erie Basin to adopt proven best
practices through the 4Rs, which refers to using the Right Nutrient Source at
the Right Rate and Right Time in the Right Place.

“This voluntary new program builds on the 4R
Nutrient Stewardship principles to provide a consistent, recognized standard
for agricultural retailers in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan where surrounding
waters drain into Lake Erie,” said Chris Henney, president and CEO of the Ohio
AgriBusiness Association, which is the administrator of the program. “While
individual growers aren’t included under the scope of the standard, it’s
critical they work in concert with agricultural retailers to adopt best
practices to realize long-term improvements.”

Those eligible for the program can learn
specifics, hear from peers involved in its piloting, and sign up for
certification at a launch event March 18 at the Holiday Inn French Quarter in
Perrysburg, Ohio. The event’s afternoon session will feature invited special
guests including:

  • David Daniels, Director, Ohio Department of
  • Jim Zehringer, Director, Ohio Department of
    Natural Resources
  • Craig Butler, Director, Ohio Environmental
    Protection Agency
  • Dan Wyant, Director, Michigan Department of
    Environmental Quality
  • Ted McKinney, Director, Indiana State
    Department of Agriculture

For more information about the event or to
register, visit, email [email protected] or call 614-326-7520.

4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program is governed and guided by the Nutrient
Stewardship Committee, 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 the soon-to-be launched, email [email protected] or call 614-326-7520.