Stacie Anderson, agronomy sales manager, Paige Scott, precision services manager, and Jack Waldock, Arcadia Agronomy crop specialist for Legacy Farmers Cooperative have seen the benefits of 4R Certification.

4Rs represent different things to different people

By Matt Reese

The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program means different things to different groups of people involved with certified retailer Legacy Farmers Cooperative based in Hancock County.

Paige Scott is the precision services manager for Legacy Farmers Cooperative, which includes overseeing 4R stewardship and H2Ohio implementation. Additionally, she contributes to scouting, tissue testing, carbon market discussions, and introduces new technologies in progressive agriculture.

“The 4R certification means quite a bit at Legacy Farmers. I think one of the most important parts about it internally is that it really holds us accountable to ourselves. Our employees know that we are doing the absolute best that we can to do everything right by not only our customers, but the environment by following the 4Rs. Every year we go through the audits and our locations get to see the practices we’ve put into place to make sure we’re following the 4R certification. It really affects how we do our fertilizer applications, our sales, and our recommendations clear down to the customer level,” Scott said. “Our customer base knows that if they have something that falls along the 4Rs when it comes to nutrient stewardship, Legacy is a place that they can go to for advice or the products they need with cover crops, variable rate (VRT) fertilizer, reducing their nutrient applications and how to implement those on their farm.”

The 4R Certification is also important for occasions when the cooperative is working with people not directly involved with agriculture. Legacy regularly hosts community groups outside of agricultural production.

“Those people are always so surprised to learn about all of these things that farmers are doing, including with the 4Rs, for the environment after what they’ve heard about agriculture in the media,” Scott said. “I feel like that is really eye opening for them and I am always really proud when a group leaves here and one or two people will come up and say, ‘That’s really neat. I didn’t know my next-door neighbor who’s a farmer was doing all of these things.’ I definitely feel like it means something and I know for people that I’ve come into contact with, it has made a huge impact for them to know that things like this are in place and knowing what the agriculture community is doing.”

Legacy Farmers Cooperative was formed in 2014 as the merger of Blanchard Valley Farmers and Deshler Farmers. The cooperative has five agronomy locations, 10 grain locations, two fuel stations, and a lawn and pet store. Legacy Farmers Cooperative’s five agronomy plants in Arcadia, Arlington, Custar, McComb, and Pandora each offer cover crop applications, grid soil sampling, VRT fertilizer recommendations and application, and nutrient management planning services.

“Becoming 4R certified has enhanced our credibility and earned us the trust of customers. The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification program is recognized as a rigorous standard for responsible nutrient management. By aligning ourselves with this program, we have demonstrated our commitment to promoting sustainable and efficient fertilizer practices,” said Dan Schaller, Arlington Agronomy crop specialist. “Customers appreciate our dedication to environmental stewardship and are more likely to choose us as their preferred supplier. By being 4R certified, we have attracted environmentally conscious farmers who prioritize responsible nutrient management. This has opened doors to new business opportunities and facilitated partnerships with progressive growers who are willing to invest in sustainable agricultural practices. By adhering to the principles of 4R nutrient stewardship, we have established ourselves as a trusted partner for growers seeking sustainable solutions. The positive outcomes we have experienced since becoming 4R certified have contributed to our overall success and reinforced our position as a leader in the industry.”

The crew from the Legacy Farmers Cooperative McComb Agronomy facility is proud to be 4R Certified.

Ultimately, the 4R Certification has helped Legacy Farmers Cooperative set area farmers up for agronomic, economic and environmental success.

“Implementing 4R practices has positively impacted our nutrient efficiency. The emphasis on applying nutrients at the right rate and in the right place helps optimize nutrient uptake by crops, reducing waste and improving nutrient use efficiency. This targeted approach ensures that our customers achieve maximum yield potential while minimizing input costs. By providing tailored nutrient recommendations based on soil testing and crop needs, we have enhanced our agronomic expertise and customer satisfaction, leading to improved customer loyalty,” said Jack Waldock, Arcadia Agronomy crop specialist. “Attaining 4R certification has provided us with a significant competitive advantage in the marketplace. The certification demonstrates our commitment to sustainable agriculture and responsible nutrient management. It differentiates us from competitors who may not have adopted these best practices, and it resonates with environmentally conscious farmers who prioritize sustainable farming methods. By becoming 4R certified, we have positioned ourselves as a trusted partner for growers seeking environmentally friendly solutions such as VRT fertilizer, cover crops or optimal nitrogen placement timing helping us attract new customers and expand our market share.”

This story is part of a summer series highlighting Ohio’s 4R Certified retailers and commemorating 10 years of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program.

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