Announcing: Globally Responsible Production
Jul 05, 2023
Across rural America, there are obvious signs of deep roots in agriculture. Providing for one's family and building a bright future are at the core of these communities. For a large majority, this goal is accomplished by putting in a full day of work every day and taking great pride in feeding the world.
Throughout history, this mindset and way of life were common until society and economies increasingly relocated people to urban settings to earn a living. Unfortunately, as years have passed, urban communities have become increasingly disconnected from the family farm, and farmers' voices have been left out of telling their own stories. With generations becoming further removed from the farm, a lack of understanding has led to questioning farmers' practices and motives. This, in turn, has resulted in market shifts and regulations that will continue to expand.
"When we think about agriculture and sustainability, our industry is often misrepresented in the court of public opinion. People residing in densely populated areas of our country often lack understanding of how food is produced or its origin. They aren’t aware of the sustainable production practices that producers have implemented over the years to be good stewards of their land. Unfortunately, neither do their elected officials, which has and will continue to influence national policies and regulations impacting agriculture," said Wes Spohr, Ag Partners President & CEO.
The current situation and talks of additional regulations in the future have led Ag Partners to create Globally Responsible Production (GRP) with farmers in mind. GRP is a standalone entity owned by the cooperative, with the goal of connecting farmers with urban consumers in a way that benefits everyone involved, from the farm to the table.
"As your locally owned cooperative, we believe it is our fiduciary responsibility to you, our member-owners, to provide a platform to educate, inform, and dispel many of the myths associated with production agriculture in these metro areas. We also have a responsibility to provide access to new markets that are being driven by consumers, like alternative grains that come with significant premiums," said Spohr. "However, I don’t want to insinuate that we believe broad acceptance of such production practices will become commonplace. That said, such markets exist in our region, and if you choose, we can connect you with these opportunities, and GRP is part of that solution."
Farmers have been improving practices to become better stewards of the land for years, creating lasting, healthy farms that produce bountiful crops and are a legacy to pass down to their children. GRP's certification program allows these farmers to not only be recognized for the efforts they've already been making but also get paid for them by connecting their commodities with corporate companies looking to fulfill certain sustainability goals.
In recent years, sustainability and net-zero greenhouse gas emission goals have become significant topics. Corporate companies are feeling more pressure than ever from consumers to decrease their emissions. To help decrease a company's upstream emissions, GRP provides a central point of access to source commodities verified by the farmers who actually produced them.
In addition to connecting farmers with corporate buyers in new markets, GRP works to build connections between rural and urban communities through education. Promoting urban agricultural education is a crucial step towards bridging the gap between urban consumers and rural farming in America. Children in urban settings have very little exposure to how food is grown and where it comes from before appearing in grocery stores. Through GRP, schools in cities can build greenhouses sponsored by companies in their area to teach students how to grow their own healthy food. The greenhouses come with curricula, seeds, and rain barrels to set students up for a great, lasting experience.
We are thrilled to launch GRP and eagerly anticipate the remarkable accomplishments we can achieve with the help of our farmers, corporate partners, and urban consumers. Our GRP team is available to answer any questions you may have, and we hope you are as excited as we are for the journey forward with GRP.
Globally Responsible Production | Sustainable Agriculture