It may be the middle of winter, but there is something very special happening underground in the farm fields of Saginaw Bay, Michigan.
While the soft white winter wheat planted in the fall to make Kellogg’s® Frosted Mini-Wheats® and other Kellogg cereals would seem to be quietly sleeping, the seeds are actually very hard at work.
During the winter months, soft white wheat needs to endure temperatures below 35 degrees to grow. The cold weather triggers the plant to produce a grain head. Then, once the warmer weather arrives in the spring and the soil begins to thaw, the grain starts growing rapidly. By April, the crops sprout up through the ground and continue to thrive through the summer months until harvest time in early July.
Mike Milligan from Cass City, Mich., is just 24 years old, but he knows this process well. Mike is a fourth generation farmer with 4,000 acres of wheat, edible dry beans, corn, and soybeans. Like other millennial farmers, Mike takes special pride in carrying out the legacy of his family and ensuring that the agriculture practices he has in place are protecting his land for years to come.
In 2015, Mike began to explore how he could advance his farm’s sustainability practices and joined the Kellogg’s Origins™ Great Lakes Wheat Fieldprint Project. As part of the program, he began using farm management software to measure sustainability performance to assess his farm’s environmental footprint. The data enables Mike to track sustainability indicators for crops.
“The technical support we’ve received from Kellogg’s gives us benchmarks that lets us gauge our performance and see how we are performing compared to other farmers,” said Mike. “We then use the information to help improve soil health, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and drive greater crop efficiency.”
The Kellogg Company is committed to helping farms and farmers thrive. Through our Global Sustainability Commitments, the company has set a goal to support 500,000 farmers by 2025, focusing on climate-smart agriculture to improve livelihoods.
“We are proud to work with farmers like Mike through our Kellogg’s Origins™ program,” said Diane Holdorf, Kellogg Company vice president and chief sustainability officer. “He is a great example of a next generation farmer who is leading the way in the adoption of innovation and new technology to ensure crops, like his soft white winter wheat, can continue to thrive for future generations.”
In the fall of 2016, Kellogg nominated Mike to be featured in the Field to Market® Farmer Spotlight, which he was recognized for in November. To read more about his story, please click here http://fieldtomarket.org/farmer-spotlight-series/mike-milligan/