From now until July 18, Walmart stores in Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska are showcasing Farming for the Future, a partnership to prepare teachers and students in the best agriculture practices to protect air and water quality and improve soil health. The partnership is a collaboration between companies and conservation groups that are members of the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative, working with the National FFA Organization and the National Association of Agricultural Educators.
Key to the partnership is the creation of an agricultural toolkit to teach conservation to the next generation of farmers. The toolkit will be available on the NAAE’s teacher development website and will reach 1,000 students in classrooms through teachers in Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska by the end of 2019, with the goal of reaching as many as 100,000 students through online training over time.
Walmart shoppers will see the Farming for the Future promotion on specially marked displays featuring these MRCC-member products: Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, Honey Nut Cheerios, SunChips, Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, and Honeysuckle White Turkey. Together, these brands provided $50,000 to FFA and MRCC matched that contribution by providing an additional $50,000 to support the program.
“Walmart is pleased to work with MRCC and FFA on the Farming for the Future initiative in support of our nation’s young, innovative and hardworking farmers,” said Laura Phillips, senior vice president for global sustainability at Walmart, Inc. “We are happy to encourage the ongoing conservation efforts of Midwest farmers who produce the food that nourishes our bodies and supports our local economies.”
Walmart was one of the founding members among a group of leading companies and organizations to find common ground to accelerate conservation efforts. The Midwest Row Crop Collaborative members include: Cargill, Environmental Defense Fund, General Mills, Kellogg Company, Land O’Lakes, McDonald’s, Monsanto, PepsiCo, The Nature Conservancy, Unilever, Walmart, and World Wildlife Fund. These food and agriculture supply chain companies and conservation organizations formed an “end-to-end” partnership to support farmers in the improvement of soil health and water quality. Already, MRCC has engaged farmers representing more than 600,000 acres in continuous improvement projects, delivering long-term, sustainable results for farmers and surrounding communities.
“We’re excited to partner with MRCC to bring this work to life with shoppers who we know care a great deal about the environment” said Molly Ball, president, National FFA Foundation. “And we are thrilled to have the support of these leading brands to help farming communities continue to protect our soil and water for generations to come.”