General Mills committing US$2.3 million to advance regenerative agriculture in Manitoba and Saskatchewan oat fields

The Assiniboine river from the sky (ALUS/Supplied)

General Mills and ALUS have announced a partnership targeted at oat growers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

The multi-year partnership will support farmers and accelerate agriculture in the key regions where General Mills sources oats for brands like Cheerios, Cascadian Farm, and Nature Valley.

The $2.3 million USD deal enables ALUS to grow its community-led programming with a focus on soil health through its new Growing Roots pilot program, offering both technical and financial assistance to farmers. The partnership aims to remove barriers to entry and maximize benefits for local producers, communities, and the environment.

ALUS supports General Mills’ commitments to advance regenerative agriculture on one million acres of farmland by 2030, reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions — 60 per cent which are from agriculture — across its value chain (scopes 1, 2, and 3) by 30 per cent by 2030, and ultimately achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Mary Jane Melendez, chief sustainability and global impact officer with General Mills, says they were drawn to ALUS’ grassroots approach with farmers at the center.

“Now, interested farmers in these communities can gain a greater understanding of regenerative agriculture and how best to apply those principles to their farm’s unique environmental, social, and financial context, along with the power of peer knowledge-sharing and community support,” says Melendez.

The investment from General Mills provides robust support to increase farmer mentorship and fund in-field projects that follow regenerative agriculture techniques. Funding also provides enhanced data collection, scientific research, and the sharing of this critical information with key stakeholders.

Farmers, companies, and others who may be interested in growing the regenerative agriculture farmer-led movement in Manitoba and Saskatchewan can reach out to Nicole Baldwin, the program manager, at [email protected] to learn more.

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