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White House to honor Steuben farmer

Vollmer-Sanders

Growing up on an Ohio hog farm made Carrie Vollmer-Sanders a conservationist.

"My first science fair project was about manure management," Vollmer-Sanders, 33, recalled Monday.

Conserving soil and water "was something we always talked about as a family," the Angola resident said.

Her current work to keep fertilizer runoff out of Lake Erie has caught the attention of the Obama administration.

The White House announced Monday that Vollmer-Sanders is among 14 people selected as recipients of Champions of Change awards "for their efforts to engage communities and youth in environmental stewardship and conservation."

The awards will be presented Tuesday morning at the White House.

Vollmer-Sanders, who with her husband, Ryan Sanders, farms corn, soybeans and wheat near Hamilton, is the director of the Western Lake Erie Basin Project for The Nature Conservancy.

"Carrie leads the Conservancy's efforts to promote a healthy Lake Erie by working with farmers, agribusinesses, researchers, government agencies, and conservation groups to improve nutrient management and drainage practices," the White House said in a statement.

"With Carrie's leadership, this broad group has developed a voluntary, third-party certification program in which farmers' fertilizer and crop advisers can be recognized for their efforts to improve water quality."

The award ceremony will be streamed live at 9 a.m. Tuesday at www.whitehouse.gov/live.

The Champions of Change program honors people for "doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities," the White House said.

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