In 2020, Iowa farmer and Truterra fan Kelly Garrett made headlines as one of the very first U.S. farmers to sell carbon credits on the open market. In the time since, Kelly has become a leading advocate for climate-smart farming practices and the benefits of carbon markets for farmers. This year, Kelly is once again making history as one of the farmers participating in Truterra’s inaugural carbon program, which made more than $4 million in cash payments upfront to participating farmers, who sequestered 200,000 metric tons of carbon.
When asked what made him choose to participate in Truterra’s carbon program, Garrett replied, “Truterra has the most credibility because of its connection to Land O’Lakes. It’s the wild west out there and this gave us a feeling of security.”
As the sustainability business of Land O’Lakes, Inc., Truterra is working to deliver one of the most farmer-favorable contracts on the market to both reward farmers for their investment in carbon-sequestering practices and support those going through the process of implementing new practices.
The Garrett family, no stranger to sustainable practices, serves as a stand-out example of the myriad of financial and environmental benefits that these practices can bring to farmers across the country. Kelly’s father and grandfather began implementing no-till farming practices in the 1980s. Since 2012, the farm has operated on a 100% no-till basis, and more recently began to adopt cover crops on their 7,000-acre farm. Their conservation journey is one of continuous improvement. They are always looking for new ways to increase the sustainability of their operation.
Implementing these practices has also drastically increased Kelly’s crop yields, leading to four straight Iowa state yield titles in the No-Till Irrigated class. Taking things a step further, Kelly’s trucking company works with Feed Energy, a local company, to convert his soy byproducts to liquid feed, which is then brought back to the farm to fertilize the next year’s crops.
“This is a way to do our part to farm in a regenerative, sustainable manner while continuing to do the things we need to do,” Kelly says.
Truterra’s carbon program provided him with access to another revenue stream that further rewards these practices. In 2021, Kelly began working with Truterra’s carbon program, citing its ease of use and fast payments. Through the program’s seamless and easy-to-use experience for farmers, Kelly has access to high quality field-level data and insights, allowing him to better understand how to derive the most potential value out of every acre on his family’s farm.
While the Garretts’ progressive adoption of climate-smart farming practices enabled Kelly to be among the first to take advantage of carbon markets in the U.S., he believes these markets are readily accessible to all farmers.
Kelly says the only thing he sees standing in the way of more farmers participating in carbon markets is “the fear of the unknown.” He believes this will be overcome as more and more farmers see their counterparts benefitting from programs like Truterra’s. He encourages other farmers to consider participating in Truterra’s 2022 program. In his words, “using the farming practices that qualify you for Truterra means using the practices that are best for the health and financial health of your farm.”
As more farmers participate in carbon markets, and the value of credits increases, Kelly believes the agricultural system as a whole will experience a large-scale shift to more sustainable practices. For more information about Truterra’s 2022 carbon program and to get started, visit www.TruterraAg.com/Carbon.