Sustainability and profitability go hand-in-hand and that’s been the focus of a partnership between the National Pork Board (NPB), United Soybean Board (USB) and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). Two years ago, the three organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on a sustainability research platform that will benefit all three organizations and their producers.
Since the MOU was signed, the groups have been collaborating on sustainability goals and initiatives, as well as a feed sustainability blueprint project. This project intends to encourage on-farm and facility outcome-based goals that contribute to watershed and sustainability goals. The objective is to establish practices, definitions, and standards on how to measure and track the sustainability of feed ingredients, primarily soybean meal and corn, with a focus on water quality, water quantity, climate resilience and wildlife habitat.
“America’s pig farmers are committed to producing pork and reducing our environmental impact,” said Dr. Brett Kaysen, vice president of sustainability. “Partnering on the feed sustainability blueprint project makes sense as our industry works toward the carbon-neutral pig.”
One of the goals of the original MOU was to collaborate, better using each other’s resources and expertise on these issues that impact corn, soy and pork farmers. Representatives from NPB, USB, and NCGA have been working together, managing and evaluating the activities outlined in the MOU.
“It’s important to collaborate, pooling our resources and expertise as checkoff organizations now more than ever,” said Roger Zylstra, Iowa farmer and representative on the Corn Sustainability Advisory Group. “So much of our ongoing demand for corn in the feed sector as well as other industries are dependent on answering key sustainability questions and sharing the great progress corn has made and the great work that America’s corn farmers continue to do.”
The MOU is ongoing and includes the sharing of completed research, coordination on current and planned research, and defining ways to share and communicate results with each organizations’ members.
Through combined communications efforts and outreach, the organizations can increase the education, capacity, and motivation of pig and grain farmers to adopt conservation measures that deliver benefits to the environment and farm resilience and profitability.
NCGA is taking a series of actions to do our part to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the economic fallout it is creating for corn farmers and our customers. Short term, this means instituting policies to protect the health and safety of our stakeholders and the broader communities we serve. Long term, we’re focused on creating solutions to help corn farmers and our customers recover from the financial impacts of this crisis.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.