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[Podcast] Pete Kappelman: Land O’Lakes starts doing on-farm sustainability audits

Progressive Dairy Published on 27 April 2021

Editor Walt Cooley interviews Pete Kappelman, the senior vice president of member and government relations for Land O’Lakes. They talk about sustainability and more, specifically about Land O’Lakes’ recent decision to perform on-farm sustainability assessments for all of their membership and what that will look like in practice. Kappelman says that agriculture has been “dragging its feet” a bit in the area of sustainability, but he’s excited the newest generation of dairy farmers – like the one that has taken over his own family farm – sees it as an opportunity.


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Season 3, Episode 12


Here is a breakdown of the episode:

Tell us about your dairy background and family farm. [~1:45]

What are your day-to-day responsibilities? [~2:15]

Explain Land O’Lakes’ Dairy 2025 initiative. What is it? [~3:15]

What was your initial reaction when you heard about this new on-farm assessment? [~5:40]

What do you say to co-op members who say, "Another assessment? Haven't we got enough of those already?" [~8:15]

How is an on-farm sustainability footprint measured? Is it a number? A scale? [~9:45]

Is this assessment a market-access requirement? Or will there be incentives or paybacks to farmers who implement sustainability changes after the baseline is created? [~11:00]

What do you say to co-op members who are concerned about more private data being collected about their farms? [~12:55]

Will you benchmark farms using the data you collect? [~14:45]

What are some examples of sustainability improvements that may be opportunities for dairy farmers? [~16:40]

Explain what Truterra is. [~20:15]

Are dairy crops like corn silage and alfalfa a part of Truterra right now?  [~22:15]

What is TruCarbon? [~24:00]

How do you explain what carbon markets are and what they mean to farmers to your fellow co-op members? [~26:00] 

What documentation is required to validate a sale in a carbon market? [~29:00] 

How is Land O’Lakes advocating for rural internet connectivity to enable farmers to participate in all these programs? [~30:00] 

What are you encouraging your family farm members to invest in these days? [~35:00]


Follow Land O’Lakes online:

Blog: Dairy 2025: A sustainability commitment for farmers



How to connect with Land O’Lakes on social media:


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