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Meijer, Kellogg Join Forces to Support Young Farmers

Michigan stalwarts provide funding for equitable farming access, advocacy
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
young farmer
Meijer and Kellogg are working to improve the pipeline of young farmers in the Midwest.

Michigan-based Meijer and Kellogg Company are teaming up to strengthen and diversify the roots of the food industry. The venerable retailer and CPG announced a partnership with The American Young Farmers Coalition to support the younger generation of farmers, particularly farmers of color.

Funding provided by Meijer and Kellogg's will help cover honorariums for 12 Midwest farmers who are part of the Young Farmers Land Advocacy Fellowship. As they start or expand their farming business, the farmers will advocate for themselves in Washington, D.C. through regional gatherings and other activities that open up access to financing for land and other operational needs.

[Read more: "EXCLUSIVE: Meijer Displays New All-Electric Semi at Auto Show"]

Reflecting the farm-to-table supply chain, financial support will also go toward creating online and in-store communications that educate consumers about the partnership between Meijer, Kellogg and The National Young Farmers Coalition.  

"Meijer has a longstanding commitment to our local growers, many of which we've worked with for decades," said Don Sanderson, Meijer’s chief merchandising and marketing officer. "But with any good business, it's vital to create pathways for the next generation. This partnership with The National Young Farmers Coalition will help young farmers, especially young farmers of color, while ensuring a strong supply chain in the future."

Likewise, Amy Davis, VP, sales accounts at the Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg's, said that the partnership continues the company’s commitments across many areas. "Kellogg's Better Days is our promise to advance sustainable and equitable access to food, creating better days for 3 billion people by the end of 2030. By investing in young farmer leaders and supporting their advocacy, Kellogg and Meijer can help shape the future of farming in the Midwest for generations to come,” she remarked, adding, “As two Michigan-based companies, this is particularly important, as Michigan is the second most agriculturally diverse state in the country.”

The Young Farmers group said that the support is crucial, especially as many farmers in the United States are at or nearing retirement age and family farms are not the multi-generational businesses that they once were. "We greatly appreciate the support from Kellogg and Meijer," remarked Payge Lindow, Michigan Organizer for Young Farmers. "Uplifting farmer voices into policy advocacy while building a strong community of young farmers to support one another along the way is crucial as farming transitions into the hands of these young farmers."

Privately owned Meijer operates more than 400 supercenters, neighborhood markets and Express locations throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The company is No. 20 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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