Milling company receives grant for sustainability project

FRANKENMUTH, MICH. — Star of the West Milling Co. has obtained a $4.9 million grant as a part of the USDA Partnerships for Local weather-Sensible Commodities. The funds can be unfold out over the five-year lifetime of the undertaking, which is named “A climate-smart technique for the Michigan foodshed.”

Lisa Woodke, sustainability director at Star of the West, will work alongside Julie Doll, PhD, of Michigan Agriculture Development (MiAA), in main the undertaking.

“Star of the West has been facilitating sustainable agriculture for years, and this grant will enhance our presence and permit us to supply extra to the farmers that develop the meals we take pleasure in,” Ms. Woodke stated. “With our lengthy historical past in flour milling, mixed with our dry bean and meals grade soybean packages and a brand new providing in oats, we’re excited to be working on this climate-smart and sustainable meals area.”

As a part of the partnership, Star of the West stated it should work hand-in-hand with Michigan growers to doc and reward current climate-smart administration and assist help new administration for meals crops. In the meantime, a “local weather good” agronomist will assist farmers acquire knowledge and use expertise platforms appropriate with their farm. Star of the West will then help meals corporations in sourcing these climate-smart grains to make use of of their merchandise.

Star of the West Milling Co. and MiAA additionally will develop a plan of labor that features help from extra companions Artisan Grain Collaborative and Shiftology Communication. As well as, they may work intently with an advisory board, together with representatives from Hasenick Brothers Farm, Kellogg Organic Station, Midwest GRIT, Van Buren County Conservation District, Wisconsin Ladies in Conservation and the Bavarian Inn Restaurant of Frankenmuth, Mich.

Ms. Woodke has spearheaded a number of initiatives at Star of the West since being hired as sustainability director in July 2019. In March 2022, the company partnered with The Nature Conservancy to launch an progressive, sustainably-grown wheat incentive program for farmers within the Saginaw Valley in Michigan. She additionally has led a number of initiatives, together with the set up of photo voltaic panels on the firm’s Richville, Mich., location, the addition of a pollinator strip on the firm’s Emmett, Mich., location, the launch of Airly carbon crackers and the Frankenmuth goat riverbank undertaking.

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