Farm sustainability program culminates in pitch event

The Empower Possibilities program launched by Land O’Lakes and Mars Wrigley culminated this month with a special pitch event in Minneapolis, Minnesota, US, bringing together four companies to present their on-farm GHG emissions reduction solutions to an audience of industry experts and Land O’Lakes member-owners.

“Mars Wrigley is committed to the future of our planet, and this successful pitch event alongside Land O’Lakes truly showcased our philosophy that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today,” said Alastair Child, vice president of global sustainability for Mars Wrigley. “We were pleased to help bring together new ideas and big thinkers to help meet the challenge of reducing dairy farm emissions, with solutions that start on the farm, with the farmer.”

“America’s dairy farmers are outstanding innovators who are leading on the adoption of new solutions to safeguard the environment and reduce emissions,” said Matt Carstens, senior vice president of Minnesota-based Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN. “With support from Mars Wrigley and the help and insights of Land O’Lakes member-owners, this successful pitch event showcased just a few of the exciting new ideas and offerings being developed to provide farmers with new tools in the fight against climate change.”

Blue Ocean Barns, located in the San Francisco Bay area, which is developing a cattle feed additive produced from seaweed that aims to reduce enteric methane emissions, was selected at the event to participate in a pilot project with up to $200,000 in support from Mars Wrigley.

“Blue Ocean Barns appreciates the opportunity to collaborate with Land O’Lakes and Mars Wrigley toward providing farmers with a new solution to help reduce GHG emissions,” said Joan King Salwen, CEO of Blue Ocean Barns. “American farmers and ranchers have long been stewards of the land from which they produce our food, and today innovative farmers are stepping up to lead with climate solutions. Blue Ocean Barns is here to support their work.”

Throughout the pitch event selection process, Land O’Lakes member-owners nationwide played a central role. As one of America’s largest farmer-owned co-operatives, Land O’Lakes brings the direct experience, insights and knowledge of dairy farm families across the nation.

Member-owners of the co-operative helped vet potential participants for the August pitch event, which was presented live before an audience of 150 members, including dairy farmers and rural co-op leaders. In addition, while in Minneapolis, the selected participants received direct feedback from Land O’Lakes member-owners during a series of mentoring sessions aimed at helping them further improve their solutions for on-farm use.

Other companies showcased at the pitch event included:

BioFiltro and Organix – creating a wastewater treatment system powered by earthworms and microbes to help reduce emissions, and remove suspended solids and organic nitrogen from liquid manure.

Livestock Water Recycling – showcasing a system to segregate and concentrate manure nutrients into two valuable fertiliser products, while recycling clean water for reuse or consumption and reducing emissions.

Beyond The Dome – a water treatment company developing technology to degrade the organic material in liquid manure streams and produce drinking-quality water for reuse, while reducing emissions.

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