Co-Alliance and Land O’Lakes, Inc. host Senator Mike Braun at Malden Agronomy

Aug 10, 2023

Yesterday, Co-Alliance Cooperative Inc., an agricultural retail-owner of Land O’Lakes, Inc. and large local, farmer owned cooperative welcomed United States Senator Mike Braun (IN) to their Malden Facility. Co-Alliance's Malden Facility in Valparaiso, Indiana, is one of their 80 facilities and specializes in fertilizer, crop protection products, seed, and custom application services as well as fuel and propane supply.

During the visit, Senator Braun was joined by Co-Alliance Cooperative Executive Vice President Scott Logue and Vice President of Strategy Phil Brewer for a tour of the Malden Facility led by Manager of the facility Brad Metzger, Local agronomist and sales specialist Jed Chickadaunce was also in attendance. During the tour, they were shown an on-site grain elevator which stores 5 million bushels of grain. In 2021, the Malden facility was recognized as the largest fertilizer retail location in the nation. 

In addition to the tour, the group discussed the importance of Sen. Braun's Increased TSP Access Act to local cooperatives. As the trusted advisor to America's farmers, the local ag retail network is well suited to deliver the conservation services needed to sustainably feed a growing population.

Of the visit, Land O’Lakes, Inc. VP of Government and Industry Affairs Matt Wohlman said, “Cooperatives are critical to allowing local farmers to produce the food, feed, fuel and fiber for the nation. We’re grateful Senator Braun came to visit and provided our cooperatives a chance to share perspectives on the farm bill, including the safety net, conservation and rural economic development titles and how important the Senator’s Increased TSP Access Act will be for our farmers and growers.”

Wohlman continued, “Land O’Lakes believes farmers are the original conservationists – and it’s vital that we encourage adoption of local, voluntary, incentive-based conservation practices. While we will continue to partner with USDA’s NRCS, we can and should capitalize on the deep relationship between our local ag retailers and their growers and allow them to scale up their efforts to expand on-farm conservation practices. We look forward to working with lawmakers on the 2023 Farm Bill, to ensure technical assistance is available to producers nationwide.”

"Agriculture is an economic engine for the state of Indiana.  We are proud of our Malden Facility and it was an honor to have Senator Braun visit. It’s important that he knows that our growers and agronomists are leaders in the conservation space. As a nation, if we want to reach our conservation goals, we need public-private partnerships that ensure farmers can access voluntary programs that meet them where they are.” said President and CEO of Co-Alliance, Kevin Still.

Pictured L-R (Malden Manager Brad Metzger, Executive Vice President Scott Logue,  U.S. Senator Mike Braun, Agronomy Specialist Jed Chickadaunce, Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Phil Brewer)

“The state of agribusiness in Indiana is strong. Agriculture forms the foundation of the economy in many of Indiana’s counties, and I was fortunate to see the Co-Alliance facility in Valparaiso up close and discuss the importance of keeping our farm economy strong long term,” said Senator Mike Braun.
In the 2018 Farm Bill, a provision advocated for by Land O’Lakes, Inc., allowed farmer-owned cooperatives and agricultural retailers to become USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) certified technical service providers (TSPs) which allows them to design and deliver conservation activities. Additionally, the legislation created an effort at the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) that would allow farmer-owned cooperatives to certify TSPs.
While these provisions laid the groundwork for the private sector to help extend delivery of USDA conservation programs, more work is needed to drive conservation adoption at scale. In the meantime, Land O’Lakes, Inc. has utilized its cooperative structure and worked with conservation districts to put several technical assistance experts in agriculture retailers to be able to engage more farmers. Ag-retailers are well-positioned to help NRCS programs reach more farmers and more acres, delivering climate-benefits for U.S. agriculture at scale. Land O’Lakes’ sustainability business Truterra is leading in agricultural sustainability and offers consultation, tools and solutions for ag, food and CPG industries and is a registered TSP.
Senator Braun’s Increased TSP Access Act of 2023 would work to support and complement NRCS’s current efforts by certifying more TSPs to provide assistance to America’s farmers and ranchers. The bill would help build out this workforce by eliminating bureaucratic barriers, streamlining TSP certification requirements, and making sure TSPs are paid the market rate.


Read More News

Aug 25, 2023

Indiana Based Co-ops Announce Farmer Focused Collaboration

Jun 07, 2023
Co-Alliance Cooperative, Inc. has announced the 24 recipients of its $1,000 Scholarship program for 2023. The scholarships were awarded to high school seniors with an interest in agriculture and who have been involved in their community.
Jun 06, 2023
Co-Alliance Cooperative has donated $4,000 towards Centerville United Methodist Church Food Pantry. This donation makes it possible for the church’s Outreach Team to continue to provide healthy, nutritious food items to the people in the Centerville area that need it so badly.

Related Topics