Campbell’s soup rep talks partnership with farmers southern edition lancasterfarming.com la gas leak

“We want farmers to play a more active role in the food system and understand their power and ability to change the conversation,” Chu said. “We want to support them in telling their story back to the consumer, and we have to start with the data collection and transparency piece to show all the great environmental and conservation work that is already happening.”

“You see labels like GMO free, natural and others are popping up more and more. It may drive you, the farmer, crazy as they (consumers) don’t know what it takes to grow products on the farm, but they are not so much looking for a specific way, they just want to know more about how things are grown,” she said.

“The goal behind this whole thing is to optimize nutrient use efficiently to increase our yields,” said Ben Hushon, partner of The Mill and general manager of its crops division. “We are not going organic. We believe that being sustainable is right and we know it will work. Ninety percent of you are already doing 90 percent of all of these environmental things, and none of you are getting any credit for it. Using Sustain will help consumers understand that you don’t have to be GMO free or organic to have safe, quality food.”

“The last thing we want to do is tell farmers how to farm,” she said. “We have a particular interest in the Chesapeake Bay area because we have two Pepperidge Farm bakeries in Pennsylvania and we source a lot of wheat from the area. The supply chain is very complex, unlike vegetables where we buy right from the farmer. We buy grain from an aggregator and this is a way for us to better reach the farmers on the ground for our consumers.”

“Our purpose is ‘Real food that matters for life’s moments.’ Real food has recognizable ingredients, has roots, is prepared with care, is accessible to all and transparency builds trust,” she said. “Real food is accessible to all without a price premium attached to it. Everyone should be able to buy a can of soup, and it is all about transparency and sharing how that food is made.

“We are not just about the environmental benefit, but also the economic piece as well,” she added. “We want it to be economically viable for farmers to continue to farm, but also socially responsible so communities don’t have to worry about contaminated waterways or different issues like that. We are trying to accelerate agricultural science and innovation so that farming can be more sustainable, the quality of our ingredients will continue to improve and that it is cost-effective for everyone.”

“We have five full-time agronomists who go from farm to farm and work with people on their farms in Lancaster, York, Cecil, Harford and Baltimore counties,” he said. “We believe that if we educate our customers (farmers) about the product rather than sell it, they will see what they want on their own farm. It is all about growing the same or increased yields while helping the environment.”

“I want to give you some ideas for herbicide programs for corn, soybeans and small grains,” Clark said. “There is a cost to weeds of any size. You should not wait until you see weeds, or if you are waiting until the weeds show up to treat, it will cost you. We want to start clean and stay clean.”

“In different years it depends on the weather and sometimes you can do everything right and not have the yields you should have,” he said. “We are trying to improve stuff and The Mill helps us do this. I think the sustainable thing is important and we need to reach out to the public as they don’t know what we do. We do no-till and reduce runoff to get a good crop and not pollute the ground.”

“I have been farming since I was 15, for over 40 years,” said Todd Wiley, who farms 300 acres of corn, beans and beef cattle in southern York County. “These informational meetings are pretty normal in the wintertime but there has been absolutely more change to farming in the last 10 years than in the 30 years before in every way, in everything.”