Today, on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a new nonprofit, Leading Harvest, was launched to advance sustainability in agriculture. It’s a fitting launch date with a fitting mission given that farmers and land owners are the original environmentalists and that this new sustainability standard is truly producer-focused.
Peoples Company worked with Leading Harvest for over a year to provide input and insight into the challenges land owners face as they navigate a complex and cumbersome list of sustainability standards and metrics.
As we worked with land owners in the 22 states where Peoples Company operates, we noticed a common, problematic theme: A corn operation in Iowa has one standard, but a rice producer in Arkansas had different sustainability metrics, while a grapes operation in California followed a path set by a different standard.
With its launch, Leading Harvest will provide transparency and uniformity to sustainability in agriculture. Land owners will be pleased to know that rather than prescribing a path to a sustainability solution, Leading Harvest is solution-focused.
That means land owners and producers are free to continue innovating and applying various sustainability practices in conjunction with Leading Harvest. To be in compliance with Leading Harvest, a land owner simply has to demonstrate results achieved as opposed to checking a series of mandated boxes to get to a positive result.
For years, Peoples Company has been advising land owners on how a sustainability strategy offers measurable results, increases efficiencies and adds value for your land and operation. In addition, Peoples Company recently hired Mollie Aronowitz as our Director of Sustainability and Mike Lauher as our National Director of Land Management and Appraisal.
Moving forward, our capable team will be prepared to share with land owners how enrolling their land in Leading Harvest’s sustainability standard will yield dividends in the fields and provide a seamless sustainability measurement that offers validation to the marketplace.