BATTLE CREEK (WWJ) — Rice has long been an important food staple, dating back as far as 2500 B.C. Today, rice is essential to the diets of much of the world’s population, and a major ingredient in many of the foods produced by Kellogg Co., including Rice Krispies, Special K and other brands.
As a significant user of medium grain rice, Kellogg is working closely with the farmers who nurture rice from seed to harvest for many years, investing in rice breeding programs and partnerships.
Kellogg’s Rice Master Grower program is a voluntary program designed to help growers adopt good agronomic practices, encourage sustainable growing methods, and understand the connection between sustainability and profitability. Launched in 2012, the program is a joint effort of Kellogg, the Louisiana Rice Mill, and the Louisiana State University AgCenter, which runs the program.
“One goal of the Rice Master Grower program is to strengthen long-term environmental benefits and economic well-being among farmer communities,” said Diane Holdorf, Kellogg chief sustainability officer. “The Master Grower program helps to ensure a continuous supply of rice for Kellogg foods, as well as drive environmental improvements in rice production.”
Kellogg recently recognized several growers who participated in the program, as part of the 104th Annual LSU Rice Field Day, held in Crowley, La. The Company awarded growers with Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze certification, based on the demonstrable improvements to their growing practices. Among the qualifications for certification were tillage practices, soil testing methods, seeding rates, fertilizer management, irrigation, integrated crop protection management, and harvest yield.
Among the growers recognized on June 25 during the Master Rice Grower Appreciation Dinner: Platinum-certified growers Mark Zaunbrecher, Dwayne Compton, Rene Daboval, Shannon Daboval, and Eric Unkel; and Gold-certified growers Randy Thibodeaux, Dale Thibodeaux, Steven Thibodeaux, Ross Thibodeaux, Michael Talley, Ray Faulk, Tommy Webb, and Craig Zaunbrecher.
“We congratulate these growers, their families, and their teams for their commitment and contribution both to this program and to sustainable practices,” said Holdorf. “Through the Rice Master Grower program, we continue to build important relationships with rice farmers, in partnership with LSU and Louisiana Rice Millers, so we can learn about their practices and the sustainability improvements being made, and work together to drive future improvements.”
With 2012 sales of $14.2 billion, Kellogg is the world’s leading cereal company; second largest producer of cookies, crackers and savory snacks; and a leading North American frozen foods company. Its brands include Kellogg’s, Keebler, Special K, Pringles, Frosted Flakes, Pop-Tarts, Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Kashi, Cheez-It, Eggo, Coco Pops, Mini-Wheats, and many more.
More at http://www.kelloggcompany.com.