If you’ve been a visitor to our Web site and blog, you’re very aware of how proud we are of our sustainable farming program. Over the years, Gold Dust and Walker Brothers have been striving to lessen our impact on our local environment while leaving a positive impact on our community. On the environmental sustainability front, we’ve been a part of the Walking Wetlands program, implemented our own green manure program and just last year finished our Solar Power Initiative. And now, PepsiCo, parent company of Frito-Lay, has given us recognition for our efforts.
On their Web site, PepsiCo has a page dedicated to environmentally sustainable practices farmers and other partners they work with have been implementing. What makes this even more prestigious in our minds is this isn’t a focus on just the West Coast or even the United States alone, but of all their partners and farmers who grow for them around the world.
In the Sustainable Farming section under Soil Conservation and Preservation, the page reads, “Also, in 2010, Gold Dust Potatoes planted 1,240 hectares of wheat during spring/summer to protect soils from wind erosion.” As you know, the quality of our chipping potatoes is directly tied into the quality of the soil we grow them in. Maintaining the quality of our soil also lessens the amount of fertilizer we need and helps keep weeds and pest under control, which in turn lessens the amount of pesticides we have to use, if we have to use them.
Sometimes the message in the popular media and the press is that farmers don’t care about the environment or the ground they make their living from. The reality of agriculture is just the opposite of that – we love what we do, and in order to keep farming we have to take care of our environment. And while we’re proud for the recognition we received from this PepsiCo page, we’re just as thankful to be working with a company that is spreading the word about how agriculture is helping make a positive impact on the environment while encouraging others to do the same.