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How (and why) does Land O’Lakes, Inc. support the work of Land O’Lakes Venture37?
Sharing a common purpose of Feeding Human Progress means working together across cultures and continents
In the U.S., when people hear “Land O’Lakes,” many may think “the butter company.” The truth is, Land O'Lakes, Inc. is a lot more than butter. For example, did you know that Land O’Lakes is a cooperative owned by American dairy farmers and agricultural cooperatives? Or that this agribusiness and food company is a leader in global animal nutrition (Purina) and crop solutions (WinField United)?

Land O’Lakes operates as both a marketing (dairy products) and supply (ag inputs, services) cooperative with industry leading brands and operations. This unique farmer-to-fork view of agriculture - and the love of farmers near and far - is why Land O’Lakes is supportive of advancing agriculture globally.

The work of Land O'Lakes Venture37 started in 1981. Read about our history with Land O'Lakes here. Today, we work as an affiliated 501(c)(3) nonprofit, leveraging Land O’Lakes teams to collaborate on market-based solutions that drive locally-led agricultural transformation through data, innovation, technology and world- class expertise.

Here are examples of how Land O'Lakes and Venture37 work together to advance global agriculture.


The Nourishing Prosperity Alliance

This Alliance aims to strengthen dairy production in central Kenya using locally appropriate innovation and timely data-driven insights. We are working alongside Corteva Agriscience, International Livestock Research Institute, Bidco Land O’Lakes and Forage Genetics International to guide female smallholder farmers in bolstering nutrient-rich forages (corn silage and hay) production that improve milk production. Where Land O’Lakes’ expertise fits in:

  • Bidco Land O’Lakes is a feed joint venture between Bidco Africa and Land O'Lakes aspiring to be the market leader in animal nutrition in Kenya, with a vision of improving farmer productivity and well-being. Bidco Land O’Lakes will work closely with the Nourishing Prosperity Alliance partners to offer farmers compound feed that complements effective forages. 
  • Forage Genetics International is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Land O’Lakes and the industry’s leading provider of forage solutions and cutting-edge product introductions; they breed, develop and produce premier alfalfa seed. The role of Forage Genetics International with the Nourishing Prosperity Alliance is to provide locally-appropriate forage solutions.


The Center for Agriculture Transformation

Establishing a hub to catalyze Malawi’s agricultural growth with the University of Minnesota, Stellenbosch University and the Malawi University of Science and Technology. The CAT is forging integrated research-to-impact pathways that reduce poverty gaps between men and women and foster successful smallholder farmer households. Where Land O’Lakes’ expertise fits in:

  • Winfield United is a leading seed, crop protection, agricultural services and agronomic insights business that helps retailers meet farmers' needs. WinField United is adapting its Answer Plot® Program, a premier research and demo plot program, on the CAT campus. The CAT-supported entrepreneurs will have the ability to test products and practices in varying field conditions, and these trusted data insights gathered will help them make the right decisions for their fields.


Tackling Fall Armyworm (FAW) 

When it comes to crop ventures, we work with Land O’Lakes and local partners to understand the situation on the ground and build sustainable solutions using data, science and the know-how of local agronomy. This approach is applied to our work on combatting Fall Armyworm in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique. Read more about this work here. Where Land O’Lakes’ expertise fits in:

  • Villa Crop Protection is a South African crop protection company, which is majority owned by Land O'Lakes, has a strong portfolio of productivity-enhancing crop input products and analytical services to help farms of all sizes sustainably improve their yields. Villa has decades of experience in advising farmers on the responsible and effective use of pesticides to mitigate fall armyworm. With Venture37, Villa is developing distance learning modules and training farmers and model farmers on best practices.


Farmer-to-Farmer: 

Facilitates volunteer assignments to agribusinesses. Since 1987, we have sent more than 1,400 highly qualified U.S. volunteers — including 166 Land O’Lakes staff and cooperative members on assignments in 27 countries. Whether its championing food safety regulations, driving innovation through research + development, optimizing supply chain networks or offering farmers services to make informed decisions— we combine premier agribusiness know-how with local insights to create lasting impact.

A shared approach on key topics:

  • Diversity and social inclusion. Venture37 knows that when people of all ages, genders and ethnicities can equally take part in a society, it strengthens the whole. A commitment to diversity and inclusion is vital to success for Venture37 and Land O’Lakes, and vital to the future of farming. 
  • Rural vitality: No matter where operations are in the world, Land O’Lakes and Venture37 see first-hand how rural connectivity – digital connectivity and connectivity to inputs and services – is critical for sustainable, agricultural production to feed a growing population. The American Connection Project is advocating for meaningful policy reform around digital inclusion and broadband investment.
  • Climate solutions: Land O’Lakes and Venture37 both have a long-standing commitment to feeding people and supporting farmer livelihoods while safeguarding natural resources. Whether it’s the work of Truterra or Venture37 prioritizing climate resilience when designing projects, we work to create supportive systems to enable farmers to be part of the climate solution. 
  • Animal-source foods: Roughly one-third of the world’s population does not get enough nutrition. Venture37  knows that supporting livestock food systems and animal source foods (like dairy, eggs, fish) can contribute to more well-fed communities and to sustainable economic growth. It’s why we support the Global Dairy Platform’s work in building evidence on dairy’s role in diets and commitment to responsible dairy production.
  • Foreign aid: Venture37 works with organizations like the USGLC and leverages resources from the Land O’Lakes Government Relations team to advocate for a strong International Affairs Budget. Land O’Lakes and Venture37 know that global food security and economic prosperity are good for all—for international economies, for trade, for a more secure world. 
     
By Ashley Peterson 10/27/2020