Background: how did you got involved with sustainability?
I have a background in environmental engineering and came into the minerals and mining industry over twenty years ago working on compliance. Over time, businesses have evolved into the understanding that compliance is a must do to stay in business right now, but sustainability is what lets your business stay relevant in the future. About seven years ago, I worked for a public company and I was responsible for the new sustainability program and I learned about triple bottom thinking – doing right by the shareholders and employees, the customers and other community stakeholders at the same time is a winning solution. While compliance is like policing, sustainability is strategic and, when done correctly, is tied to enterprise growth. Sustainable practices are where it’s at as people, agriculture and industry compete for the same natural resources.
Why did you want to be a part of FSF and serve on the board?
I wanted to serve on the FSF Board because the need to connect consumers to farmers and farmers to consumers is immediate. Consumers want to make food choices that are sustainable, but they have limited information on how to guide their purchase power. Instead, the farmers are often seen as bad guys. That could not be further from the truth – farmers sole purpose is to feed people. That was once a well-understood message that has somehow gotten lost. I would like to help FSF stay at the forefront of this issue so the US agriculture industry can continue to do what it does best – feed the world.
Why should others join FSF?
If you want to be part of the conversation about how and why farmers are using both stakeholder feedback, technology and economics to drive sustainability practices and meet with people from throughout agriculture who have the same interest and want to be part of the solution, FSF is the group for you.