Tate & Lyle, a global provider of food and beverage solutions, gathered more than 80 members of the value chain together in Lafayette, Indiana last week to discuss opportunities to collaborate and bolster sustainable agriculture.

Farmers, ag-retailers and manufacturers joined government officials, academics and NGOs at Tate & Lyle’s first Shared Impact Dinner, which was co-hosted by Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN, the sustainable solutions business of one of America’s largest farmer-owned cooperatives.

“This event, the first of its kind, brought together a slate of experts, all connected—and committed—to the U.S. food chain,” said Nick Hampton, Tate & Lyle CEO. “By sharing our experiences on a variety of sustainability-related topics we can more effectively implement cutting-edge conservation practices and empower consumers to live more sustainably.

The event followed the landmark launch of Tate & Lyle’s sustainable agriculture program, which will enroll 1.5 million acres of U.S.-grown corn in Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN’s sustainable agriculture program by the end of the 2019.

The experts, including Tate & Lyle and Land O’Lakes leadership, government officials, farmers and local agronomy retailer Ceres Solutions, discussed the challenges of securing a sustainable food supply for future generations. “Stewardship starts on the farm, with the farmer, which is why it was so meaningful to bring together leaders spanning the food value chain at Strasburger Farms to celebrate a major milestone in our collaboration with Tate & Lyle,” said Matt Carstens, senior vice president of Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN. “We are proud to work with farmers, their trusted ag retail advisors and companies like Tate & Lyle to deploy ag tech supporting farmer-led stewardship.

Congressman Jim Baird, representing the 4th District of Indiana was one of the evening’s speakers. “Sustainability is important to all of us, it’s important to the planet it’s important to agriculture.” Baird said. “I’m very proud of agriculture in Indiana and the people in my district. They are proud farmers, they do a great job and we can deliver products across the globe because of that.

Farm owners and operators, and their ag retail advisors, play a key role in creating sustainable solutions. Strasburger Farm, which is enrolled in Tate & Lyle’s sustainable agriculture program and provided the setting for the Shared Impact Dinner, is a perfect example of the farming community’s key role in conservation.

“We’ve been farming for six generations and I hope we can continue on for six more generations,” said Roger Strasburger of the Strasburger farm, which is enrolled in Tate & Lyle’s sustainable agriculture program and provided the setting for the event. “We believe this program will help us to fine tune our conservation efforts and tap into the huge knowledge base out there.

Michael Strasburger, who co-manages the farm with his father, added, “Partnering with the right companies and stakeholder groups has really given us an edge and bring huge value in terms of the network you build. Networking in farming is something that’s often overlooked but different perspectives we can bring back here is what makes the difference and move this farm forward.”