NCC Recognized for Proactive Sustainability Efforts

The Michigan Agri-Business Association (MABA) recently recognized the NCC Coldwater, Mich., agronomy team for their proactive sustainability efforts with the awarding of MABA Green Agri-Business Award. The Coldwater agronomy team has implemented several new practices to help their customers be more sustainable including recycling plastic containers, the pesticide clean sweep program and encouraging growers to follow the 4R Program guidelines.

“Michigan’s agricultural sector is a regional and national leader when it comes to protecting our natural resources, and the Green Awards are one way to recognize companies that are proactive,” said Jim Byrum, president of MABA, when presenting the awards. “We must demonstrate our sustainability commitment in concrete ways, whether that means optimizing nutrient use, expanding recycling or implementing energy efficiency plans. We also see this as a stepping stone to even more progress in the future.”

The Coldwater agronomy team was one of 97 companies in Michigan to receive the Green Award, a record number for the fifth annual award. The 2015 class of awardees focused heavily on protecting water quality.

Dan Wyant, director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, offered these comments on the businesses recognized by MABA: “The record participation in MABA’s Green Awards, along with the new partnerships we’re seeing agribusiness form with leading conservation organizations, tells a great story for Michigan agriculture. Governor Snyder has identified the need for a collective solution to water quality challenges in our Great Lakes, and agriculture needs to be a part of that solution. We have to continue to be proactive, and the Green Awards provide a great platform for Michigan agriculture to stay engaged.”

The increased efforts at the Coldwater location are part of a company-wide initiative within NCC to increase awareness of sustainability measures they can implement both within their cooperative and with their growers. As a leading ag retail outlet in Indiana and Michigan, they are poised to help their growers make a difference.

“We know our growers are conscientious of their role in protecting our natural resources, ” says Mark Tullis, NCC CEO. “We want to do our part in helping them by providing programs like the pesticide clean sweep and participation in the 4R program.”

NCC is working to implement the 4R certification program at its 19 agronomy locations in Indiana and Michigan. Additionally, Jim Sprowl, account relationship manager, passed the CCA exam to become 4R certified. This accreditation will further assist NCC and its members in their 4R compliance program.

The 4R stewardship program, a nationally recognized sustainability program, promotes the best management practices to achieve cropping system goals while minimizing field nutrient loss and maximizing crop uptake. The four principals of the program are: the right source, the right rate, the right time and the right place.

Farmers interested in learning more about NCC’s sustainability efforts or involvement in the 4R program can contact their local NCC office or Jim Sprowl at jsprowl@ncc.coop.