FRANKENMUTH, MICHIGAN, US — Star of the West Milling Co. announced it has joined the Truterra network, a move the company said will allow it to offer its diverse grower customer base a powerful suite of tools to help optimize sustainability and profitability. The Truterra network was launched in 2016 by Land O’Lakes and is designed to better position growers to access opportunities to be rewarded for stewardship, including carbon and emerging ecosystem services markets.
As part of the Truterra network, growers working with Star of the West sustainability projects will have access to the Truterra Insights Engine, which is a tool that allows growers to generate a stewardship baseline for every field and then predict and measure the impact of implementing specific conservation practices on both the environment and their profitability. For its part, Star of the West said it will work with interested growers across their footprint to document current practices and then unlock insights about fields to evaluate and implement conservation practices to better achieve agronomic and economic goals. With Truterra, growers retain ownership of their data at all times.
“We look forward to working with growers across our different geographies to identify potential opportunities for their farms while also partnering with our food processing customers,” said Keith Martus, vice president of agronomy at Star of the West.
Star of the West pointed to its partnership with The Nature Conservancy as one example of an opportunity that stands to benefit from the Truterra network. According to Star of the West, the partnership with The Nature Conservancy focuses on Michigan wheat and sustainable/regenerative practices being added to the farm. Growers involved in this partnership will be able to use Truterra to show and track the improvements the new practices are making to their fields.
“Right now our focus is on wheat, but we continue to work to develop projects and partners,” said Lisa Woodke, sustainability director at Star of the West. “Whether future developments are different crops, new customers, or simply current customers asking for more specific data, we are excited to bring these opportunities to our growers.”
Founded in Frankenmuth 150 years ago, Star of the West owns five mills in four states, including Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and New York. The company has expanded from its flour roots to include three agronomy locations, 10 elevators for receiving crops, dry bean and edible soybean processing facilities, and Everbest Organics, which is the company’s organic division with locations in Michigan, North Dakota and Minnesota.