Citing its commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability while working with farmers to enhance profitability through sound agronomic practices, Growmark and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service officials on Jan. 31 signed a national memorandum of understanding.
The memorandum formalizes a collaborative partnership in which Growmark and NRCS will identify collaborative training opportunities to equip Growmark System employees with consistent information and technology that’s science-based and highlights conservation practices and programs available through NRCS.
“We know agronomic practices and conservation practices go hand in hand, and we’re extremely excited to partner with NRCS and sign this national memorandum of understanding,” says Mark Orr, Growmark vice president of agronomy. “NRCS is an outstanding resource for practices that will help us add value for the farmers we serve. We will continue to advocate effective approaches for soil and water conservation, many that are already offered by NRCS.”
Good advice on environmental stewardship
Kevin Herink, a farmer from Clutier in central Iowa, is a member of Growmark’s board of directors, and serves on the board of New Century FS at Grinnell, says he fully appreciates the team approach to environmental stewardship and sustainability.
“Every farm is uniquely positioned to contribute to water quality, soil health and productivity for this country. As farmers, we have a commitment to do what’s right for our farms and communities, and in the soils and watersheds in which we live. Adding the value FS crop specialists already provide to farmers like me, with what NRCS has to offer in practices, approaches and training is a win for all of us,” Herink says.
Build higher yields while protecting the soil
Leonard Jordon, NRCS acting chief, says, “Given the enormous challenges farmers face today, we need an all-hands-on-deck approach to support American agriculture. This partnership with Growmark will go a long way towards helping producers increase productivity, build resiliency and protect the natural resources we all depend on.”
Under the national agreement, Growmark and its FS companies in Iowa will initially work with Iowa NRCS on these activities through a state contribution agreement that will provide an opportunity to pilot the effort before replicating in other states. “Today is the start of a long-term relationship that will evolve over the coming years to benefit the environment and farmers who work to help feed and fuel a growing world,” says Orr says.