Sustainable Matter

December 20, 2019

Sustainability350x300.jpgBy MKC President and CEO Dave Christiansen

Sustainability is a topic gaining momentum all around us. You hear more chatter in our rural communities. You see companies who buy our agricultural products being pushed toward sustainable sourcing by their customers. You open up your social media and you see claims about sustainability from family and friends.

The truth is, sustainability means different things to different people. When many of us hear the word “sustainability,” we often assume the conversation is only about environmental issues and regulation. 

MKC approaches sustainability from three dimensions. As a cooperative, it is important for us to share all of the buckets of sustainability including environmental conservation and preservation, economic performance and community engagement.

We have an abundance of unique stories to tell of sustainable agriculture and food production. It is important to understand sustainability from the cooperative level and at the farm level. Our farmer-owned cooperative business model is an inherently sustainable one in itself, and farmers themselves have been working over generations to ensure their own family businesses are sustainable. We will do everything we can to tell the story that many of our customers simply live every day. We will tell the story of what the cooperative does for farmland preservation, soil health, animal welfare and cooperative involvement.

The one thing we all have in common is modesty. We can’t let modesty stop us from telling our story about our daily sustainable practices. There are a lot of people out there who are influencers in the world, who don’t know our story, and we need to do a much better job of communicating what we do. I believe we all want the same thing: clean water, a safe food supply, and to treat the environment and livestock well. These are all the things our customers are doing daily. Every day, regardless of whether they are raising crops or livestock, these farmers and ranchers are practicing and living sustainable farming.

A team of our employees are establishing a common baseline to understand how our cooperative and members are practicing sustainability. This initiative will help us to join the conversation that is building around us. It will increase our ability to develop sustainability programs for our core business areas, our members and the cooperative as a whole.

It’s time for agriculture to take back the concept of sustainability. Sustainability is in the soul of every good farmer and at the heart of co-op success, and it always will be.

Posted: 12/20/2019 3:16:37 PM by Kelli Schrag | with 0 comments


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