Published on 12/20/2019

Advice for Sustainability Success: 2019 Partners In Excellence Outstanding Retailer Award

Collaboration is key to success. One of the most important collaborations in agriculture is the partnership between ag retailers and farmers.

Ag retailers bring a depth of agronomic knowledge and a spirit of innovation to the table every day. As a key connection in the value chain from farmer to fork, our ag retailer partners empower farmers to make the decisions that will help keep their land healthy for generations to come and is why we honored two of our ag retailer partners with the Outstanding Retailer Award at the recent 2019 Partners in Excellence Summit.

With 27 locations across the Buckeye state, Ohio-based Heritage Cooperative, winner of this year’s Outstanding Retailer Award, supports farmers with the tools, technology and advice to help them make economic and environmental decisions that make sense for them.

Heritage Cooperative and local farmer partners in their network are instrumental in a landmark initiative with global ingredients supplier Tate & Lyle to assess and accelerate sustainability on 1.5 million acres of U.S.-grown corn. Heritage Cooperative’s efforts, in partnership with local farmers, are enabling strong sustainability efforts on the acreage equivalent of Tate & Lyle’s entire global corn purchases.
Heritage Cooperative has also been an important player in the expansion of a partnership with Campbell Soup Company to advance stewardship on 60,000 wheat acres in central Ohio. The ultimate goal is to equip Ohio wheat farmers with new tools to help protect the air, land and water – and the economic health of their farm – while supporting sustainability across the supply chain.

For Campbell, Heritage Cooperative, as a connection to farmers in their supply chain, is a critical partner in this effort. As Dan Sonke, director of sustainable agriculture for Campbell Soup Company, said in a recent op-ed for the Columbus Dispatch, “The work of farmers is critical to the food companies that ultimately use their crops as food ingredients and to the families that enjoy the end products. We are most effective when we are working together toward the same goal and tell the [sustainability] story of what we have achieved.”
Receiving an honorable mention for the Outstanding Retailer Award was Innovative Ag Services (IAS) of Iowa for their unmatched commitment to innovation and stewardship. With over 5,000 cooperative members in the grain, agronomy, feed, energy and building supply markets, IAS has 32 locations across northeast and central Iowa and southeast Wisconsin.

IAS has worked with farmers to enter 271,000 acres into the Truterra™ Insights Engine in 2019 alone. They have also worked with farmers as part of a recently-launched collaboration with Nestlé Purina PetCare to support environmental stewardship practices on 50,000 acres where the company sources ingredients for its high-quality dog and cat food products.
We’re proud to work alongside ag retailers like Heritage Cooperative and Innovative Ag Services and innovative farmers like those honored at this year’s Partners in Excellence Summit. We know that these are just a few of the many outstanding stewardship stories happening across the country. To learn more about our #MyStewardshipStory campaign to highlight those stories, click here or follow us on Twitter at @TruterraLLC.