Farming has changed a great deal from the 1880s when this photo was taken on Jeff Peters’ family farm.
Back then almost everything was done by hand and the chores were never ending. Peters’ family still owns the same small farm that has been handed down for five generations, including a cemetery, where many of the family are buried in northeast Mississippi. Peters brings his agricultural legacy to his role as Director of Sustainability & Partnerships for Agrible™.
Peters developed a love of the land through summers spent with his grandparents on their farm, where he helped out shelling peas and gathering eggs for the family’s laying hen operation. His fondness for agriculture has led to a 22-year career in the Ag Industry. Starting as a bench chemist, he developed studies to support registration for crop protection products at Syngenta. After transitioning from lab and contract field work, he became a technical manager in Stewardship for Syngenta which evolved into sustainability and later digital farming. Some of his other stewardship activities include development and implementation of Operation Pollinator in the U.S. and his previous position as co-chair of the Field to Market® Technology workgroup.
Field to Market® brings together a diverse group of grower organizations and agribusinesses; food, fiber, retail companies; conservation groups; universities; and agency partners to focus on promoting, defining, and measuring the sustainability of food, fiber, and fuel production. Peters has worked closely on many of the Field to Market® workgroups that were charged with development of metrics and future implementation opportunities for the Field to Market FieldPrint® Calculator, which is a free and confidential tool developed for growers to better understand how management choices affect overall sustainability performance and operational efficiency. Some of the sustainability indicators include: land use, soil conservation, soil carbon, irrigation water use, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions.
At Agrible™, Peters’ work includes the Sustainable Sourcing Yield Program for growers. Peters says his work is an educational process to create awareness on both sides (grower and consumer): “Growers know their fields better than anyone, and I want to help them communicate the story regarding stewardship of their land to consumers.”
Peters sees great promise with the new technology developed at Agrible™ via the Morning Farm Report™ Sustainability Sourcing Yield Program that, according to Peters, “gives real time insights that will lead to results on every farm”. The program shows grower engagement for downstream buyers and allows growers to record the story of their fields’ operations, inputs, planting, and scouting notes. It also contains all necessary information to evaluate sustainability performance.
Some of the other tools available with the Sustainability Sourcing Yield Program are Spray Smart™ with pollinator protection measures, Advanced Nutrient Engine to minimize the chance of fertilizer loss, and Pest Engine to help growers respond to pest pressure responsibly and effectively.
According to Peters, technology has come a long way since he was a kid gathering eggs in the hen house, and he believes predictive analytics can assist growers in taking the next step towards preserving the legacy of their land. More importantly, he contends that growers in the U.S. are exceptional stewards of the land who stand out in the global marketplace and need their story told. “Our goals are to ensure producers reach their full potential, become more profitable and productive, and address the new challenge of sustainability”.
Jeff and his wife Terri, along with their two children, ages 10 and 13, live in North Carolina. The family enjoys spending their spare time fishing local lakes and farm ponds. If he happens to go missing, he can often be found in his renovated 125 year old tobacco barn that he moved and converted into a log cabin a.k.a., ‘pout house or man cave’, on his property.