Ask 10 different farmers what sustainability means to them and you’ll get 10 different answers, all of which will be right. Best defined as, “continuous improvement on every acre,” a more sustainable industry asks farmers to do more with less, but that shouldn’t be a burden they have to carry alone – after all, feeding the world is a partnership.

In the final episode of the Groundswell series, our guests connect what’s being done at the policy level to make sustainability profitable, how that message is being communicated, and where growers are implementing these ideas and practices on the farm.

Listen to episode six of the Groundswell podcast.

Interview Highlights:

As the Secretary of California Department of Food and Agriculture since 2011, Karen Ross’s rural background and extensive career in agriculture gives her an edge in local, national and international agricultural affairs. Secretary Ross aims to provide farmers and ranchers with numerous resources to implement innovative and sustainable environmental practices on their operations. Secretary Ross works to bridge the gap between producers and consumers while advocating for locally grown products and highlighting the state’s unique distinctness. Her background of growing up on a farm in Nebraska and time as a 4-H member has given her a thorough understanding of the tremendous effort it takes to put food on the table.

Amy Wu not only has achieved a well-versed career in reporting but is also highly regarded in the industry with numerous sought-after accolades. Her work spans from Time magazine to the USA Today Network and more. Wu currently works as the government and agriculture reporter for The Salinas Californian. Wu’s true passion is to share stories of minority women in agriculture and the implementation of technology in agriculture. Her efforts have earned a grant from the International Center for Journalists to develop a series called, “From Farms to Incubators: Telling the stories of minority women entrepreneurs in ag tech in the Salinas Valley and beyond.”

Scott Henry became involved in agriculture at a young age. He was born and raised on his family’s farm and took a particular interest in the financial realm of agriculture business. Henry’s passion led him to earn his bachelor’s degree in both Ag Business and Finance from Iowa State University, his Master’s in Ag Economics from Purdue, and an MBA from Indiana University. As an accomplished business professional, Henry now serves on an Environmental Defense Fund advisory board with other growers bringing a new and younger generational perspective. His family operation, LongView Farms, is a participant in the Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN program, Unilever/ ADM Sustainable Soy Continuous Improvement Program, and practices the 4Rs of Nutrient Stewardship.

Steve Kozel is an account planner for Osborn Barr and partnered with Verdesian Life Sciences on the grower and agronomist market research findings shared in this episode.