Madison, WI - April 9, 2018 - Midwestern BioAg (MBA), a leader in biological farming systems and regenerative soil management practices, has been tapped by General Mills and TPG Sixth Street Partners to assist in one of the largest organic acreage transition projects in the United States.
MBA will provide technical support and on-the-ground mentorship for the farm operators at Gunsmoke Farms LLC to transition 34,000 acres of conventional farmland to certified organic production by 2020.
The farm, located west of Pierre, South Dakota, will grow certified organic wheat and other organic rotational crops, which will be sourced by General Mills to make Annie’s® pasta products, including its signature Mac and Cheese.
“Midwestern BioAg has more than 30 years of experience helping farmers transition from conventional to high-yield organic production by focusing on soil health and advanced regenerative farming practices,” says Midwestern BioAg CEO Anthony Michaels, Ph.D.
“Our focus on soil health leads to increased yields, healthier food and better profit margins on the farm—and it’s exciting to be part of a project with this size and scope.”
Gunsmoke Farms is owned and managed by the agriculture team at TPG Sixth Street Partners, a global investment firm with approximately $21 billion in assets under management.
Soil Health Learning Hub
MBA also will offer similar services to other farms in the area, including on-farm skills-based learning programs, creating a regional educational hub for farmers to learn how to implement organic and regenerative agriculture practices.
“Gunsmoke Farms is a unique property with special challenges and opportunities for how to scale organic farming,” said Gary Zimmer, founder of Midwestern BioAg and author of The Biological Farmer.
“We crafted a specific rotation and soil-building program to allow this property to be farmed organically at this scale.
"We hope this project helps other farmers learn more about practices that enhance soil health on their operations,” says Zimmer.
Meeting Consumer Demand
“Increasing demand for organic products continues to outpace the supply of organic ingredients, especially in North America,” said John Church, executive vice president and chief supply chain officer at General Mills.
“We’ve committed to more than doubling the organic acreage from which we source ingredients by 2019.
"This partnership with Midwestern BioAg helps expand our organic footprint to meet shifting consumer preferences,” says Church.
“Increasingly, food companies such as General Mills are looking at our experience and seeking ways to add value that meets customer demand,” says Michaels.
“We’re thrilled to be part of this important collaboration.”
In the U.S., acreage devoted to organic agriculture is about one percent of total cropland, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
For more information, please contact Mark Ingbritson at 262-349-2416 or firstname.lastname@example.org