Minnesota soybean farmers are communicating with food industry leaders about the many ways they are raising their crops and operating their farms in a manner that ensures a sustainably produced food supply.
The Sustainability Annual Report, published by the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC), features statistics and stories about sustainable farmers in Minnesota.
"Our number one goal is to provide safe, affordable food for our families, communities and the world and to do it in a sustainable way," says Matt Widboom, farmer from Worthington, Minn. "We want to continue farming year after year. But to do that, we need to take care of our land and resources. To create something that will last for generations, you have to care for it now."
A growing trend in the food industry finds manufacturers and retailers assuring their customers that their food products are sourced from producers who practice sustainable agriculture.
"MSR&PC believes it is important for farmers to take the lead in helping the food industry and consumers understand that farmers are committed to sustainability," says Paul Simonsen, Fairfax, Minn. farmer who chairs the Council.
"Our sustainable performance includes sound environmental objectives, social responsibility, promoting economic growth, and continuous improvement in the technology and cultural practices we use. It is crucial for soybean farmers to keep an open dialog with decision-makers in the food industry and influencers in the regulatory arena about what sustainable farming really is."
The Sustainability Annual Report consists of four sections focused on different aspects of sustainability and how each aspect relates back to farmers, communities and the future.
Each section provides examples of sustainability in the areas of conservation, economics, family and technology, and addresses why sustainability is important when considering the future of farming and providing food and fuel for the next generations.
The practices soybean farmers use to achieve sustainability and their quest for continuous improvement will help Minnesota food companies and the general consumer gain confidence about their own sustainability.
The report can also be found in a digital format on www.mnsoybean.org.