The Corporate Commitment to Sustainability

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

fd-16-kenow The latest installment of the Food Dialogues, held this week in Minneapolis as part of a joint effort from the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) and the Farm and Food Alliance of Minnesota, kept the focus on water sustainability. The diverse panel of professionals highlighted the many ways that water conservation is present in their professions and the companies they represent, and engaged in a productive dialogue that focused on ways to find applicable, real solutions to the problems facing our nation’s water quality.

One panelist was Becky Kenow, Director of Sustainability for Land O Lakes, Inc.. Kenow works to engage businesses in company-wide sustainability strategies, and has made extensive efforts to collaborate and lead cross functional business teams to develop and implement initiatives that maximize economic, environmental and social sustainability on a corporate level.

Her focus during the panel was on the powerful role that technology has played in improving the environmental sustainability of productive agriculture, as well as the ways that working to improve sustainability can be incredibly profitable, and incentivized, by agriculture producers.

“Technology has improved every industry known to man, and agriculture is not an exception to that fact,” said Kenow during the Food Dialogue event, as well as in an interview following the discussion. “There are so many different things that businesses are doing to try to address both water quantity and water quality, and I think that its so important to share that information and help people understand that the agriculture industry has been focused on this for many years, and holds a continued commitment to conservation efforts,” said Kenow in an interview after the panel discussion.”

Her belief in the power of engaging the public and private sectors to work together was evident throughout her portion of the dialogue, and was centered in her biggest takeaway from the event.

“We are all interested in working together to figure out how to address these issues. We have to engage more people in the more proactive approach to this and work together to solve these problems instead of pointing fingers and being afraid of working together and talking about it. None of us can do this alone, we have to work together,” she said.

Listen to Lizzy’s full interview with Becky here:
Interview with Becky Kenow, Land O Lakes

View and Download Photos from the Event here: Food Dialogues: Minneapolis Photo Album

Ag Group, Audio, Conservation, environment, sustainability, USFRA, water, Water Management, Water Quality

Farmers Talk Water Security at #FoodD

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

fd-2016-collins At the latest Food Dialogue from the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) and the Farm and Food Alliance of Minnesota, a panel of experts kept the focus entirely on water sustainability, an issue that has continually placed significant blame on production agriculture. The lone producer on the panel was Nathan Collins, who raises Angus cattle and grows corn, soybeans, and alfalfa on his farm in West Central Minnesota. His perspective brought fresh insight into the conversation about sustainability, a controversial topic that remains without a formal definition.

“I think it’s important that everyone understands that water problems are not just due to agriculture. This is such a broad issue that covers every industry,” he said in an interview following the event. “Farmers have become an easy target because we aren’t always willing to speak up against the misconceptions, but we’re doing so many good things right now. We’ve always had water quality as a top priority, and we wouldn’t be able to continue farming the same land for multiple generations if we weren’t taking care of the land.”

Nathan’s takeaway from the event was the importance of engaging more people in the efforts to finding solutions to the nation’s complex issues surrounding water quality and security, and the fact that telling his story as a producer remains an absolute necessity in the continued efforts towards improving our environment.

“It’s so important for farmers to have conservations with people. Its quite easy and it can be a lot of fun, because a lot of people don’t understand what farmers do on a day to day basis, and the business of agriculture is so diverse that it’s paramount that you share your story with people,” he said.

Listen to Lizzy’s full interview with Nathan here:
Interview with Nathan Collins, MN Farmer

View and download photos from the event here: Food Dialogues: Minneapolis Photo Album

Ag Group, Audio, Conservation, environment, sustainability, USFRA, water, Water Management, Water Quality

FMC Expands Corn Division

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

ams-16-5Perhaps when you think of FMC you think of soybeans- but that is changing, says Chris Reat, Corn Product Manger.  At the recent Ag Media Summit in St. Louis, Missouri Reat told AgWired they’re expanding their corn sector with a full range of herbicides, insecticides and fungicides.

When asked about corn crops for this year Reat’s advice was not to discount the value of an application of fungicide or pesticide still this season.  With weather being hot and cold, rainy then dry, a grower’s best bet yield potential might involve a round of just the right product.

“Lots of decision to be made yet, even with this crop, this year,” Reat tells Chuck.  “I just encourage guys to flexible with their approach and opportunities.  If there is still a chance to finish off a crop with a fungicide applications to go ahead and realize the highest yield opportunity then they ought to consider doing it.  Even though we have a challenge in the markets, they’re still going to fluctuate, but still it always pays a farmer at the end of the day to get more production out of those acres.  We always see those applications pay off.”

Overall, he says, growers are planning more and using products carefully because they are seeing it pay off.  A crop is already a tremendous investment, and more and more growers are seeing the wisdom in making it the best crop possible.

To hear more of Reat’s advice listen to Chuck’s full interview here: Chris Reat, FMC

2016 AMS Photo Album

Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by
Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by FMC   Coverage of the Ag Media Summit is sponsored by New Holland
Ag Media Summit, Agribusiness, FMC, Fungicides, Herbicides, Insecticide

Working Together On Water Conservation

Lizzy Schultz Leave a Comment

fd-16-flood Water conservation was the focus of the latest installment of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance’s (USFRA) series of Food Dialogues, held this week in Minneapolis, and for panelist Rebecca Flood, Assistant Commissioner for Water Policy at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), protecting our water supply is at the heart of her entire career.

Flood oversees MPCA’s programs and activities dedicated to the maintenance and improvement of Minnesota’s abundant water resources. She serves as the liaison to the agricultural sector, and assisted the Minnesota Department of Agriculture with the development of the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program, a voluntary program designed to expedite adoption of agricultural best management practices specifically designed to protect water quality.

Her participation in the panel was passionate, eloquent, and optimistic, with a focus on the importance of continuous data collection on water quality, as well as a strong vocal support for increased collaboration between conservation agencies and producers.

“The data and information we now have now that we are able to adequately fund our monitoring and assessment is allowing us to be able to craft solutions and work with farmers on these issues. We want to be able to work with farmers to craft solutions that are both environmentally and economically friendly so we don’t have any negative, unintended consequences down the road,” she said in an interview following the panel discussion.

Listen to her full interview here:
Interview with Rebecca Flood, MPCA

View and download photos from the event here: Food Dialogue: Minneapolis Photo Album

Ag Group, Audio, Conservation, environment, sustainability, USFRA, water, Water Management, Water Quality

Precision Ag Bytes

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

precision bytes

  • Michael Thompson has joined Monty’s Plant Food Co., as a Product Consultant and Sales Support for South Caroline.  The company is a leader in natural soil enhancement and plant fertility products.
  • Congressman Mike Pompeo (K-Kan.) has earned the American Soybean Association‘s Soy Champion Award.  He was specifically sited for authoring legislation to establish a national framework for the labeling of foods.
  • The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging Congress to support H.R. 5587.  The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act supports career and technical education and post-high school job training that are essential to rural communities.
Precision Ag Bytes

.@NationalCorn Seeks Your Best Corn Shots

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Fields of Corn Photo Contest NCGAHelp share the story of agriculture through the National Corn Growers Association‘s Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest.  NCGA hopes to capture corn from seed to harvest and the families that grow it with their third annual contest.  Participants may submit high-resolution photographs now through November 30, 2016.

The contest is open to all ages and skill levels.  Nineteen cash prizes, including one $500 grand prize will be awarded.  Prizes are also offered to the top three entires in each of the following five categories: Farm Family Lifestyle, Farming Challenges, Growing Field Corn, Scenery/Landscape and the Soil Health Partnership’s new Conservation category.  There will also be an award for the firsts, second, and third place pictures with the most “likes.”  Information about rules and submission guidelines can be found here.

Please note the Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest is aimed at field corn, not sweet corn!

Judging will be done by an impartial panel of media and communications professionals and Soil Health Partnership staff.  Winners will be announced in January 2017.

Ag Group, Contest, Corn, NCGA

NACHURS Joins Field to Market

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

NachursNACHURS, an industry leader in liquid NPK fertilizer, is pleased to announce they are joining forces with Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture.  This initiative works to define, measure and advance the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel across the entire supply chain.

“For over 70 years, NACHURS has been a leader in promoting sustainable agriculture with high quality products and precision placement.” said Murray Van Zeggelaar, Vice President – Marketing. “We are very excited to join Field to Market and help them demonstrate that growing high yielding crops in a sustainable manner is achievable to help feed a growing world population.”

field-to-market-logoAs an active member in Field to Market, NACHURS will work together with grower organizations, academia, conservation groups, public sector partners and leading companies to help to catalyze opportunities for continuous improvement in productivity, environmental quality and human well-being across the agricultural value chain.

Field to Market engages in broad communication and collaboration with stakeholders to ensure a coordinated, outcomes-based approach to sustainable agriculture that is grounded in science. By providing useful measurement tools and resources, Field to Market helps growers and the supply chain track and promote continuous improvement at the field and landscape levels.

“We are pleased to welcome NACHURS to our growing membership and look forward to collaborating on opportunities to help growers identify opportunities for continuous improvement and drive sustainable outcomes for commodity crop production,” said Rod Snyder, president of Field to Market. “NACHURS, which has a strong commitment to helping farmers further maximize fertilizer efficiency and nutrient stewardship, will be a valuable partner for the supply chain as we work to advance sustainability at the farm level.”

For more information about field to market, visit www.fieldtomarket.org.

Ag Group, Agribusiness, sustainability

Announcing TipsNotebook.com from @JohnDeere

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

John Deere Tips NotebookJohn Deere and Frontier Equipment know that farmers are often the “do-it-yourself” types, which is why they are announcing the launch of a convenient, trustworthy, and one-stop resource to answer customer questions.  TipsNotebook.com has more than 45 articles and videos create to help users tackle property jobs and projects.

“Go to TipsNotebook.com and you’ll find the kind of how-to information customers are really looking for,” says Scott Geier, manager, sales/marketing, John Deere. “You’ll find instructions and product information on a range of topics including gravel drives, fence building, garden building, mowing, seeding, snow removal, water control, and much, much more.”

The project began as a result of conversations with equipment users about what they really needed while using their machinery.  Maintaining and improving property and getting the most out of their equipment were far and away top on the list.

“There are other places that have this kind of information,” adds Geier. “But it’s scattered across dozens of websites and it’s hard to sort. At TipsNotebook.com, project tips and solutions developed by experts are centralized, trustworthy and easy-to-find. And, we’ll be adding new tips and advice regularly.”

Some tips are about seasonal chores and how to get them done a little better, a little faster, a little easier. Others are just general good advice on taking care of equipment and the land. Topics include: How to use a grooming mower. How to plant a wildflower meadow. How to maintain a gravel drive. How to use a manure spreader. How to aerate, fertilize, and over seed your lawn. How to create a large vegetable garden with a one-bottom plow. How to build a rail fence. How to use a wood chipper. How to renovate a pasture. Even How to free a tractor stuck in the mud.

Get started by visiting the new website at TipsNotebook.com.

Agribusiness, Equipment, John Deere, Website

Farm Safety for Just Kids Disbands After 3 Decades

Kelly Marshall Leave a Comment

Progressive Agriculture Foundation2016 will mark the end of Farm Safety for Just Kids (FS4JK). The Board of Directors has announced that further education, research and outreach will happen through the Progressive Agriculture Foundation (PAF). PAF has a similar mission and founder Marilyn Adams likens it to “sending your child off to college.”

Motivated by her own family’s tragic circumstances surrounding a farm accident, Adams started Farm Safety For Just Kids in 1987 during a time when there were few resources for promoting safety on farms and educating young people on farm safety. Though the transition to the Progressive Ag Foundation marks the end of Farm Safety For Just Kids as it is known today, Adams says she is excited about PAF’s plans to continue the legacy of agricultural health and safety education for youth on farms in the U.S. and around the world.

FS4JK’s materials and assets will be donated to the Birmingham, Alabama-based PAF. FS4JK will no longer be accepting donations, but as part of the transition, FS4JK will be donating $5,000 to each the National 4-H Council and the National FFA Organization for youth safety advocacy.

“We are proud of the work we have done to promote farm safety for the youngest members of farm families,” says Adams. “We believe this move will further the mission of keeping farms safe for youth. That was the goal 30 years ago, and that remains the goal today. We feel the organization has accomplished what we set out to do almost 30 years ago: To support farm safety education in the U.S. and around the world. I believe that this move will further the mission we all have worked hard to accomplish.”

Ag Group, Safety

Mycogen Sports New Paint Scheme for Brickyard

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

Mycogen Seeds along with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) sported a new paint scheme for the No. 3 Dow/Mycogen Chevrolet SS driven by Austin Dillon this past weekend. The Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race took place in Indianapolis, the home of Mycogen Seeds, on Sunday, July 24, 2016. No. 18 Kyle Busch, driving the Skittles Toyota, took the trophy with Dillon finishing 9th. POET’s logo was also part of the new paint scheme.

vcsPRAsset_515593_111814_0c53c3ff-5699-43df-878f-2b8da757d28e_0We are thrilled to have POET join Mycogen Seeds and RCR to further support ethanol and American farmers,” said Damon Palmer, Mycogen Seeds general manager prior to the race. “The No. 3 is sure to stand out at the Brickyard debuting the POET paint scheme with Austin Dillon behind the wheel.”

The entire field, including the No. 3, runs on 15 percent ethanol-blended fuel, which has powered every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race car since 2011.

Just as ethanol use in NASCAR improves efficiency on the track, ethanol use overall helps balance the U.S. corn supply,” continued Palmer. “We’re proud to be part of industry collaborations that deliver better market opportunities for American farmers.

Jeff Broin, CEO of POET, added, “By using E15, NASCAR shows the world the power, efficiency and dependability of high-octane ethanol fuel. We’re glad to work with Mycogen Seeds and RCR to highlight the benefits of ethanol to our nation’s air, public health and rural economies.”

Corn, Ethanol, Events