In recent years, we have seen growing enthusiasm for the major role that farmers and ranchers can play in mitigating and offsetting the impacts of climate change. This is evidenced by everything from the number of carbon credit-focused offerings that have launched in the past 12 to 18 months to legislative efforts such as the Growing Climate Solutions Act.
We believe farmers are central to a low-carbon future. Agriculture is in a unique position to provide a carbon sink, or a source for negative emissions, in a way that other sectors cannot. As a member-owned cooperative, we see the opportunity ahead from a distinct point of view.
We can help enable farmers’ role as carbon removers, in the same manner we help enable them to feed, clothe and fuel our society. As a “carbon cooperative” we can help farmers capture value in both what they grow -- and how they grow.
How do carbon credits work?
Carbon farming is the practice of sequestering carbon to help offset the carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. In the process of generating carbon credits, farms are not only made more sustainable, but also more profitable.
We work with farmers to drive the adoption and expansion of these sustainability practices, maximizing profitability down to each acre and opening a new stream of revenue through carbon credits.
What is the Truterra carbon program?
Through our sustainability business, Truterra, Land O’Lakes introduced the first and largest farmer-driven carbon initiative to help farmers generate and sell carbon credits.
The Truterra carbon program uses our proprietary technology platform to help collect data on existing and new sustainability practices, including carbon-sequestering practices such as nitrogen management, tillage and cover crop utilization. In addition, Truterra provides farmers with customized recommendations for each of their fields based on key sustainability indicators, such as soil health, and also tracks return on investment for specific practices.
As a cooperative owned by farmers and ag retailers, we know that every farm is different, and not one carbon farming solution will fit all. By unifying all hard-working parts of the food supply chain -- farmers, ag retailers, and food companies -- Truterra offers farmers a unique perspective on how to invest in on-farm sustainability while also opening new potential revenue streams, such as carbon and other ecosystem services credits.
How is our approach different?
Private sector markets face many challenges before they can scale and deliver on the promise of being a viable revenue stream for farmers. Our program, grounded by strong partnerships with farmers, aims to address a critical infrastructure problem that no one else is focused on: how to help farmers understand what they stand to gain in a carbon market, thereby opening up more supply for the rapid increase in demand.
In addition, we help farmers use that information to make decisions about stewardship practices, without being locked in to working with a particular company or using particular products -- requirements of many of the highest-profile carbon projects underway today.
What is the impact?
This marks the first step in the journey of Truterra and Land O’Lakes to become the “carbon cooperative,” harnessing the unique capabilities of our ownership structure in the fight against climate change.
Advancing and accelerating sustainable practices not only impacts the health of the planet, but also the economic and social health of our member-owners’ businesses and communities.
Learn more about the carbon marketand the Truterra process of measuring and generating carbon credits on the Truterra website.