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:
[wpaudio url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/zimmcomm/fd-16-lol-kenow.mp3″ text=”Interview with Becky Kenow, Land O Lakes”]
View and Download Photos from the Event here: Food Dialogues: Minneapolis Photo Album