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All across the country, farmers and agriculture retailers are leading regenerative transformations that are creating a better world for all of us. Truterra recently recognized a number of change makers at our Partners in Excellence Summit in Palm Springs, California. We hope you’ll find them as inspiring as we do.
Fourth generation farmer Jed Fleske is a fierce advocate for sustainability in Kansas through his one-on-one conversations with farmers, farmer events and non-profit board leadership. Jed has hosted a field day on his farm to teach farmers about his regenerative practices, which include participation in the Truterra carbon program and the NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant with American Plains Cooperative. Jed is chair of his county’s conservation board and was recently elected to the State of Kansas Conservation Commission, where he advocates for farmers in his hometown and across the state.
Gary Van Horn is a life-long learner, striving to maximize productivity on the land that he farms with his father by staying up to date on the latest ways to improve soil health, crop production, on-field efficiency, and bottom lines. When Gary noticed crops weren’t growing in certain parts of his fields, he tried zone grazing cattle in those areas. Another new practice he has tried is putting seeds two inches into the ground because that’s where his soil is richer and more nutritious. Gary has also partnered with breweries that use his barley to make beer. We’re inspired by Gary’s commitment to being productive, efficient and sustainable.
Having already educated over 200 Ohio producers about the benefits of regenerative farming in his first year as a Conservation Agronomist for Mercer Landmark, Michael is making a real difference. He is trusted by fellow farmers because he leads by example. Michael’s family farm is enrolled in the Truterra carbon program and utilizes cover crops. He even has two plots to provide real world examples of different cover crop blends to provide a hands-on environment for farmers. In May of 2022, Michael and the Mercer Landmark Grain Team launched “Mercer Landmark Sustain” to reward wheat producers for participating in the Truterra/Campbells wheat program by offering a $0.10 bushel premium for all wheat harvested from enrolled fields. Over 150,000 bushels of wheat were delivered in under this program.
American Plains Cooperative’s innovation and precision ag teams are dedicated to helping farmers try new ideas and gather farm data. The Kansas cooperative is active in a NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant project that is comparing zone fertilizer management, is a leader in enrolling farmers in the Truterra carbon program and is working with WinField United and a local wheat gluten plant to offer a program which focuses on utilizing agronomics to influence wheat gluten levels. American Plains Cooperative has also partnered with local Pheasants Forever and Kansas Dept of Wildlife and Parks to implement a long-term conservation plot at their location South of Great Bend to inspire growers who are looking at applying conservation on their own land.
Three retailers have provided outstanding, local expertise to farmers who are interested in regenerative agriculture. These retailers were selected based on the amount of carbon tonnes secured. Windy Ridge Ag secured 57,875 metric tonnes, GreenPoint Ag secured 48,289 metric tonnes, and American Plains Cooperative secured 21,903 metric tonnes.
Ag retailers are key to scaling regenerative transitions because they have direct engagement with farmers. Key Cooperative is a leader in this space. In addition to helping farmers enroll in NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant trials—using the Truterra sustainability tool—Key Cooperative recently purchased a no-till drill for custom cover crop seeding. Key Cooperative has outfitted it with a scale system to precisely measure seed usage on each field, as well as a small seed box so farmers can have the option of adding tillage radish, turnips, etc., in addition to the standard cover crop.
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