Healthy Grown Integrates into National Sustainability Programs
Program helps growers use research-based production and Integrated Pest Management protocols
By Deana Knuteson, Ph.D., Healthy Grown and Wisconsin ag sustainability programs
The award winning Healthy Grown® potato and vegetable sustainability program has been certifying high bar potatoes and vegetables in Wisconsin for 20 years!
Since its inception, Healthy Grown has helped farmers use research-based production and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) protocols, manage inputs and enhance ecosystem conservation efforts.
Healthy Grown standards include potatoes, carrots and onions. Participating farmers certify their whole operations by implementing landscape-level restoration practices on non-production lands and providing certified value in restoration of non-agricultural farmlands, including wetlands, prairies, forests or other habitats.
This unique grower-based program promotes agricultural sustainability and enhances environmental farming while putting Wisconsin growers in a position to capture the expanding consumer demand for sustainable options in the marketplace.
The program has provided opportunities for certified growers while also creating positive recognition for the whole Wisconsin vegetable industry.
These outcomes are laudable and give promise to our local markets by providing locally based, valuable solutions developed by our research and outreach teams in collaboration with growers.
But, does Healthy Grown fit into the larger, national sustainability picture?
National sustainability programs are becoming popular as supply chain partners are increasingly wanting to source products from growers that can document improvements in certain criteria.