A New Commitment to Precision Conservation on America’s Working Lands

  • 02/25/2019

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN announce new ‘Ag Tech and Habitat’ collaboration

Farmers are leading stewards of the land and water, making conservation decisions that impact almost 1 billion U.S. acres every day. Farmers understand the importance of habitat for wildlife and outdoor recreation, and they know firsthand the critical role productive land plays in economic success.

The intersection of conservation, wildlife habitat and productive farmland is familiar territory for Pheasants Forever, including its quail division Quail Forever. Their commitment to stewardship is shared by Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN, a business unit launched by Land O’Lakes, Inc., America’s third-largest farmer-owned cooperative, to focus on supporting farmer-led stewardship through Land O’Lakes’ trusted ag retailer network that reaches nearly half of all U.S. harvested acres.

Today, both organizations capitalized on those shared goals, announcing a new Ag Tech and Habitat collaboration to leverage precision agriculture in support of wildlife habitat, while helping farmers focus on maximizing acre-by-acre productivity and profitability.

The collaboration will aim to advance working land stewardship using the Truterra™ Insights Engine – a first-of-its-kind digital platform that allows farmers to model, plan and execute stewardship practices targeted to every farm, every field and every acre. Farmers turn to ag retailers every day for expert advice on both profit potential and natural resource stewardship. The new collaboration announced today aims to amplify the on-farm benefits of precision conservation, building on the world-class expertise ag retailers deliver to the farm gate.

“Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN is focused on elevating farmer-led stewardship and helping farmers focus on profitability using technology, insights and innovation, and we’re excited to work with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever to amplify the on-farm conservation benefits of the Truterra Insights Engine,” said Matt Carstens, senior vice president of the Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN business unit. “This is a tremendous opportunity to continue making steady progress in support of healthy soil and clean water, resilient and successful family farms, wildlife habitat and greater opportunity for Americans to get outdoors.”

“As we look to the future, it’s critical to harness technology that can help target stewardship efforts and pursue the greatest possible conservation benefit on working lands,” said Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever President and CEO Howard Vincent. “The Truterra Insights Engine optimizes land management practices through data and insights, helping us understand where to target stewardship efforts and where to deploy finite resources, while keeping farmer profitability in focus. Every farmer knows the value of precision agriculture in terms of productivity – now we’re working together in support of precision conservation on the farm.”

Under the collaboration announced today, Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN and Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever will jointly work toward:
  • Leveraging their shared networks – helping farmers advance stewardship goals with collaboration between the Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN network of agricultural retailers, who serve as farmers’ trusted advisors in the field, and Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever specialists who bring expertise in habitat development and federal conservation programs.
  • Amplifying the benefits of precision conservation targeted to the acre, through the Truterra Insights Engine – helping identify specific areas on private lands that are best-suited for conservation practices, while helping farmers focus on acre-by-acre profitability as they implement new habitat projects.
  • Bolstering the role of women in conservation through focused outreach to women, and by providing networking and training opportunities to bring women together in support of on-farm conservation goals.
Cammie Vaupel, conservation agronomist for Great Bend Co-op, a Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN agricultural retailer headquartered in Great Bend, Kansas, noted the new agreement is one more way to bring ag tech to the forefront on the farm, building collaboration around stewardship that’s farmer-driven.

“Farmers we work with every day understand the importance of conservation that’s thoughtful, targeted and well-planned, and they’ve seen the value of precision tools that have already helped to optimize yields and boost productivity,” said Vaupel. “Farmers trust our ag retail staff as their go-to, number-one advisor in the field, and now we’ll have even greater capacity help farmers maximize the use of precision conservation, thanks to the help and expertise of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever specialists.”

KC Graner, senior vice president of agronomy for Central Farm Service, an ag retailer headquartered in Truman, Minnesota, said the new collaboration builds on the cooperative’s efforts to help farmers realize as much profit as possible while safeguarding natural resources. Graner noted the collaboration will bring additional expertise, amplifying a focus on wildlife habitat, helping farmers boost on-farm stewardship, and leveraging precision conservation as a tool for productivity and higher profit potential, acre-by-acre.

“This is about leveraging ag tech to promote precision conservation and optimization of potential profits, delivered by ag retailers who are trusted in the farm field and bolstered by the unique expertise of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever staff in identifying and deploying habitat projects,” said Graner. “Precision conservation doesn’t just pay off when you’re hunting pheasant and quail, it also pays off through the long-term health and productivity of your farming operation. It’s why we’re excited to be part of the work being led by Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN and Pheasants Forever.”