The world’s technology centers aren’t the exclusive dominions of innovation. The plains of Nebraska are home to Kellogg’s ambitious innovation project with the goal to improve the livelihoods of farming families and communities by growing more food, while supporting sustainable farming across more than 1 million acres in the Missouri River Valley.
Kellogg has partnered with United Suppliers Inc. and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to connect farmers to the SUSTAIN platform and drive adoption of improved farm management practices. The project in Nebraska is one of many programs that illustrates the necessity of unique partnerships between Kellogg, industry, farmers and non-government organizations (NGOs) to improve water quality, soil health and climate impacts both locally and globally.
By working together, this team can showcase the strength of partnering across the agricultural supply chain to deliver value to growers, business, and the environment. We recently met with a panel of SUSTAIN partners to explore this unique approach.
Mary Tate, Global Sustainability Manager, Kellogg
Molly Toot, United Suppliers International
Jon Brabec, Marketing Manager for Frontier Coop
Matt Rezac, Farmer from Weston, NE
Andrea Chu, Corporate Partnerships Program, Environmental Defense Fund
Why are you participating in this program?
Andrea, EDF: Our mission is to improve water quality and climate impacts from agriculture, while ensuring that yields remain high and farmers remain profitable. Since 2014, we have collaborated with United Suppliers, one of the top agriculture retailers and supply companies, to co-develop and roll-out the SUSTAIN platform which is designed to identify and scale environmental friendly practices across farms to reduce greenhouse gas reductions and improve water quality. The SUSTAIN program partners with agriculture retailers who sell products to farmers and give advice on their farm practices. By educating the agricultural retail sector about sustainable agriculture, we will drive understanding and adoption across a large number of farmers.
We decided to join forces with Kellogg to help deploy SUSTAIN in Nebraska so that Kellogg could source grains more sustainably. As a household name (everyone knows Raisin Bran and Corn Flakes!), Kellogg is motivated to make agriculture in the US and around the world more sustainable, and they have the reach to have a truly scalable impact.
Mary, Kellogg: We are excited about this project for two reasons: 1) Agriculture retailers are great advisors for farmers, and this puts the latest information into the hands of the people who reach and advise farmers every day, and 2) these practices are win-wins. Farmers are always looking for new ways to benefit their farms and the environment, and we are focusing on practices that have a business case behind them. Through this train-the-trainer approach we expect to reach about 750 farmers across over 1,000,000 acres.
Jon, Frontier: At Frontier, we are working to protect the environment – and not just to be eco-friendly but to pioneer practices that protect the environment, public health, human communities, and animal welfare. This project is exciting because we believe that if the farmers companies do business with are successful, the entire community will prosper. The concept is helping Nebraska small towns and schools continue to be here for the future.
Matt, Farmer: As a progressive farmer, I feel that it is my responsibility to be environmentally friendly. I also want to increase awareness about how agriculture is continuously finding ways to create efficiencies in fertilizer usage. I was excited to learn that Frontier and United Suppliers were partnering with Kellogg. I am happy to be working with a major food company to get the message out that agriculture is doing its part to improve the world we live in.
Molly, United Suppliers: We are excited to see the entire supply chain come together through the SUSTAIN program. Ag retailers provide a direct link to the farmers. Likewise, as a major food company, Kellogg provides the farmer and agriculture retailers with the opportunity to tell the full story of environmentally sustainable agriculture and how it impacts the supply chain.