Sunrise Cooperative Offers Free Wi-Fi Access to Help Bridge Telehealth and Educational Digital Divide During COVID-19

May 13, 2020

Fremont, Ohio (May 13, 2020) – As the coronavirus pandemic has created an unparalleled and sudden shift to virtual working and learning, people in rural areas now more than ever are feeling the impacts of limited or unreliable internet connectivity. To help neighbors communicate with friends and relatives, keep up with schoolwork, and take part in other activities that are now done almost entirely online, Sunrise Cooperative, Inc. is making guest Wi-Fi access available in the parking lot of a designated list of its locations to area residents. This initiative is part of a larger effort by Land O’Lakes, Inc., a member-owned co-op with deep roots across rural America, of which Sunrise is a member. 

Designated areas at Sunrise’s Bucyrus Energy, Corporate Office, Minster Grain Monroeville Grain, New Washington Grain, St. Anthony School (across the street from St. Anthony Feed), St. Marys Grain and Wilmington Energy locations are setup with free WiFi hotspots. You will be able to access the WiFi without leaving your vehicle. You will not have access to any Sunrise buildings while on our property.
The locations with free WiFi access are listed below. Sunrise has worked with Spectrum, Wabash Communications and AT&T to extend WiFi services to our community members.

  • Sunrise Bucyrus Energy. Located at 3202 State Route 98, Bucyrus. Enter our property from our main entrance and park directly in front of the main building. Face your car towards State Route 98.
  • Sunrise Corporate Office. Located at 2025 W. State St., Fremont. Enter our property at the front of the building off Lime Street. Please park between the WiFi access signs on the left side of the parking lot when you pull into the driveway.
  • Sunrise Minster Grain. Located at 292 W. Fourth St., Minster. Park on the west end of our property off of Fourth Street. Look for the large Free WiFi Sign, which is facing Fourth Street.
  • Sunrise Monroeville Grain. Located at 48 Baker St., Monroeville. Enter our property off Baker Street and park next to the white office building on the side facing US Route 20. Park between the WiFi access signs in the parking lot.
  • Sunrise New Washington Grain. Located at 419 East St., New Washington. Park on our property on the south side of the building between the building and our grain scales. If you drive to our property on East Street, the access point is in the parking lot behind the building, or the south side. Do not park in the lot at the intersection of East and Washington Street.
  • St. Anthony School (across the street from Sunrise St. Anthony Feed). Located at 5471 OH-49, Fort Recovery. The school is on the south side of St. Anthony Parish. Pull into the parking lot off of OH-49 and park in the angled parking spot marked with Free WiFi at the front of the school building.
  • Sunrise St Marys Grain. Located at 1001 McKinley Road, St. Marys. Enter our property and drive up the driveway and park on the right hand side in front of the gray sided building in front of the WiFi signs.
  • Wilmington Energy. Located at 1425 Rombach Avenue, Wilmington. Enter our property and drive straight back. You will park across from the office building and face the grass area with the American flag.

“As millions of Americans shift to work and school from home and increasingly look to telehealth for critical healthcare services, the urgent need for internet connectivity in rural America has never been so dire,” said Beth Ford, president & CEO of Land O’Lakes, Inc. “Today, we are proud to take the step along with many partners to bridge the gap and provide this critical service to these communities during this crisis. But our efforts now are only a short-term solution for a much bigger problem that people in our rural communities face even when we are not experiencing a viral pandemic. As a member-owned cooperative, Land O’Lakes believes that we are all stronger together, and we are incredibly appreciative of the generosity of our retail-owners during this trying time.” 

“During this challenging time, we must all work together,” said George D. Secor, President/CEO of Sunrise Cooperative. “We work closely with the rural communities and understand the limited resources they have available when it comes to internet connectivity, and when faced with the uncertainty of this pandemic we are in, we are glad to help alleviate some stress by providing an area to connect to the internet. Between the demands of schoolwork and staying healthy, we hope this added area of connectivity will provide a place of optimism for our communities that we will get through this.” 

Sunrise has designated a portion of its parking lot for Wi-Fi users, which will allow us to provide services to customers, who are also following social distancing guidelines, without interruption. This service is being offered as part of a trial beginning on April 24, 2020. To maintain social distancing, guests are asked to stay in their own cars while using this service. You will have no access to buildings while on Sunrise property. 

During this unprecedented time, Land O’Lakes is deploying the power of its co-op to make a difference in local communities. As such, this program is part of a broader effort Land O’Lakes is deploying at its facilities across America’s heartland. Sunrise is part of the Land O’Lakes ag retailer network and is volunteering to take part in this program. While this is a short-term solution, Land O’Lakes is continuing to advocate for broadband infrastructure investment in rural areas across the country at both the state and federal level to ensure the long-term vitality of rural America. 

Ford continued, “If there were a time to band together with and for our rural neighbors – many of whom are critical to feeding our nation – now is that time. I’d encourage businesses with footprints in rural communities to join us in this small action to connect our rural communities; and I strongly urge state and federal policy makers to join us in fixing the problem by closing the digital divide in rural America.” 


About Sunrise Cooperative
Sunrise Cooperative, Inc. is a leading agricultural and energy cooperative with its corporate headquarters located in Fremont, Ohio. We offer team-based solutions across multiple divisions including agronomy, grain, energy and feed, as well as a nationally recognized precision ag department and our own crop nutrition division, PCT | Sunrise. With annual sales of $800 million, Sunrise is a 100-percent farmer-owned cooperative, and we are committed to bringing innovative choices and expert solutions to our customer-owners. At Sunrise, we offer you the best choices delivered by the best team through our state-of-the art facilities and expertly trained employees. We strive each day to grow your success.
About Land O'Lakes, Inc.  
Land O'Lakes, Inc., one of America's premier agribusiness and food companies, is a member-owned cooperative with industry-leading operations that span the spectrum from agricultural production to consumer foods. With 2019 annual sales of $14 billion, Land O'Lakes is one of the nation's largest cooperatives, ranking 212 on the Fortune 500. Building on a legacy of more than 99 years of operation, Land O'Lakes today operates some of the most respected brands and businesses in agriculture and food production including Land O’Lakes Dairy Foods, Purina Animal Nutrition, WinField United and Truterra, LLC. The company does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries. Land O'Lakes, Inc. corporate headquarters are located in Arden Hills, Minn.

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