WASHINGTON- The White House honored Carrie Vollmer-Sanders, Director of the Western Lake Erie Basin Project for The Nature Conservancy, as a “Champion of Change” for her efforts to promote a healthy Lake Erie by working with farmers, researchers, and conservation groups to improve nutrient management and drainage practices through the use of 4R Nutrient Stewardship (applying the Right source of fertilizer at the Right rate at the Right time, in the Right place).
With Vollmer-Sanders’ leadership, this group of stakeholders developed a voluntary, third-party certification program in which farmers’ fertilizer and crop advisers can be recognized for their efforts to improve water quality through the use of site specific, science-based best management practices.
“This certification program is good business for farmers as well as water quality—not just for the fish in Lake Erie but also for the people who rely on the lake and its tributaries for drinking water,” said Vollmer-Sanders. “Fertilizer run-off into waterways contributes to harmful algal blooms. This certification program will help make sure that fertilizer grows crops, not algae.”
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program, managed by the Nutrient Stewardship Council, was created to be a consistent, recognized program highlighting agricultural retailers’ nutrient stewardship efforts. The program ensures that social, environmental and economic sustainability objectives are met through the adoption of 4R nutrient management.
The three-year program will encourage information sharing and the incorporation of new research and technologies with the goal of improving water quality in Lake Erie.
Champions of change
Vollmer-Sanders will be recognized at the White House along with 13 others through the “Champions of Change” program. President Obama created the Champions of Change program as an opportunity to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.