The National Pork Board (NPB), United Soybean Board (USB) and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on a sustainability research platform that will benefit all three organizations and their producers. This research program will include the sharing of completed research, coordination on current and planned research and define ways to share and communicate results with each organization’s members.
Leadership from the three commodity groups agree that it is prudent to consider specific ways in which they might work together more effectively to ensure alignment and collaboration in sustainability research and how the results can and will be communicated and shared.
“Sustainability is defined by the We CareSM ethical principles pork producers established over 10 years ago,” said National Pork Board President Steve Rommereim, a pig farmer from Alcester, South Dakota. “Joining in the efforts of two other organizations, as a collective group we can more effectively spend producer dollars to achieve the goals we can all believe in and support. Without one, we wouldn’t have the other.”
An overarching goal of proactive, continuous improvement is a shared focus among pork, soybean and corn producers.
“Most farmers are invested in multiple commodities and invested in more than one of our organizations, so it’s important that we are collaborating wherever we can,” said Lewis Bainbridge, USB chair and soybean and livestock farmer from South Dakota. “We need to be supportive of one another, especially now when there’s more interest in what we’re doing to produce our commodities. We need to be looking at the big picture of how our commodities work together and take that a step further.”
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 to farm resilience and profitability.
“NCGA’s targeted focus - whether it’s policy, market development or research – is to grind more corn and do it profitably. However, in areas like sustainability and research where we share goals and values in our industry, it is just plain smart to work in collaboration,” said Lynn Chrisp, NCGA president of Hastings, Nebraska. “This memorandum will encourage increased communications, further sharing of staff and funding resources, pool expertise, and ultimately makes us all more effective.”
A task force of farmer representatives from NPB, USB and NCGA will be formed and, with support from each organization, will be responsible for managing and evaluating the activities outlined in the MOU. Additionally, the task force will track progress and evaluate the value and impact of the MOU upon completion of all activities.
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.