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Land O'Lakes + 60 Minutes: Why tech is key to our farmers' survival

Here’s how Land O'Lakes and our forward-looking farmers face challenges head-on by leaning into technology.

Land O'Lakes Foodservice - Farmer-owned since 1921. by Land O’Lakes Culinary Center

Modern farming is where technology and agriculture meet. Predictive modeling. Satellite imagery. Research and development laboratories. Loads of agricultural data and sophisticated platforms to put it to use. The output? More sustainable and efficient farming practices. This kind of technology isn't usually associated with a co-op — the kind of ownership model that unfairly feels old-fashioned. But at Land O'Lakes, We aren’t an ordinary kind of company. And our farmers and member-owners aren't an ordinary kind of shareholder.   

And that's exactly what 60 Minutes (and a good chunk of America) discovered in a segment released Oct. 6. Owned by thousands of farmers and affecting half the farmland in America, we at Land O'Lakes understand the difficulties that farm country is facing. And it’s our job to make sure anyone who cares about the climate, our economy or—ultimately—about what they eat, understands just how forward-thinking, innovative and strategic farmers are. They want their farms (and their co-op) to not just survive, but thrive, for the next generation.

And agricultural technology is a huge part of the path forward. With only 2 percent of the U.S. population directly involved in farming, most don't know how tech-forward a modern farming operation is. Continue reading to find out more about Land O’Lakes and our focus on supporting modern farmers.

Land O'Lakes Farmer-Owned since 1921. The guiding force for the way we do business.

Land O'Lakes – Owned by Farmers for Nearly 100 Years

In 1921, 320 dairy farmers met in St. Paul, Minnesota, to form the Minnesota Cooperative Creameries Association. Their idea was simple—join together to effectively market and distribute members’ dairy production across the country.

From there, we quickly set our sights on growth. Just eight years after establishing our butter marketing organization, we expanded into the ag services and feed businesses. Our international journey kicked off 52 years later, as we began relaying the lessons we'd learned to support local agriculture in developing nations around the world. Today, our four businesses give us a farm-to-fork view of agriculture.

Read on for more insight into Land O’Lakes:

Chief technology officer, Teddy Bekele

Turning Data to Insights and Delivering Real-World Solutions to the Farmer

“It was super exciting to me to see how the technology was not just going to transform Land O'Lakes but the whole industry and how we will be farming in the future,” says Land O’Lakes Chief Technology Officer Teddy Bekele  “Like a lot of people, I thought of Land O’Lakes as a butter company—but of course it’s so much more.”

Read the full article: Turning data to insights and delivering real-world solutions to the farmer  

Member-farmer_Reinford Farms

Digesting Manure and Recycling Food Waste to Keep the Family Farm Running

"We believe meaningful sustainability is farmer-owned and farmer-driven. We are proud to recognize farmers like the Reinford family who are on the cutting edge of conservation and sustainability,” says Matt Carstens, senior vice president of Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN. “Together, we are creating stronger connections between consumers and those who work hard to feed them, where consumers understand and trust that the food that they’re eating is being grown in a way that’s good for the planet and for the farmer.”

Read more about how sustainability efforts brought the family back to farming. Digesting manure and recycling food waste to keep the family farm running

Member-farmer_Jim Nash

Farmer Find a Way

In Farmers Find a Way, Jim Nash describes how farming has changed over the years through technology but one thing remains – being good stewards of the earth.  "The biggest perception I think is that we are ruining the land and the water," Nash says. "We live out here. We're not just tourists.”

Read  Farmers Find a Way,

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