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Food Inspiration  | March 13, 2020

Meet Ryan: Our New Certified Transitional Corn Farmer

michael platt 12 year old baker

Some say our Cinnamon French Toast is good enough to get you out of bed in the morning… Others declare it their favorite cereal because it delivers 22% of the recommended amount of daily fiber and 40% of the recommended intake of whole grains. We, however, are particularly enamored with it right now because it features Certified Transitional (CT) Corn from our new CT farmer Ryan Weeks.

If you’ve been following our journey to support US farmers transitioning to organic, you may already be familiar with Certified Transitional. We helped create this certification with Quality Assurance International (QAI) in 2015, because it allows us (and other brands) to support farmers on their three-year journey from conventional to organic farming -- a financially challenging time for farmers. Certified Transitional allows us to purchase crops at a premium price from farmers in transition who would otherwise be selling them at conventional prices -- thus making the switch to organic more affordable and realistic.

(You can read more about Certified Transitional here)

MEET RYAN

Ryan joined the Kashi family of farmers in 2020. Based in South Central Nebraska, Ryan and his family are fifth generation farmers. Their story goes back to the late 1800s when his ancestors immigrated to the US from England. Since that time, their farm has evolved and grown through different generations, but one thing has stayed true: the farm has always embodied community service, local involvement and a willingness to serve with a passion for agriculture, and the local community.

The Weeks Family Farm currently operates on approximately 4,000 acres, of which 65% is Certified USDA Organic or undergoing Organic Transition. This is where Kashi’s journey with Ryan begins. By purchasing Certified Transitional corn from Ryan, we are able to support him throughout his transition to organic by paying premium prices for his crop. Better still, you are also supporting Ryan as he increases the amount of organic farmland in the US with each bowl of delicious Cinnamon French Toast cereal you eat.

We love to get to know our farmers better, so we asked Ryan to share a little more about himself with you.

Tell us a little about your nearest town
It has an eclectic downtown which we visit often. Fun fact: it’s actually the home of Kool-Aid!

Outside of farming, how do you like to spend your time?
I love hunting, fishing, golf, and watching my kids’ sports.

How long have you been working on the farm?
I started with my own 25 acres at 16 years old.

What was it about Certified Transitional that appealed to you?
We have an interest in the long-term sustainability of our farm from both a financial and a resource standpoint.

What has been the biggest challenge with Certified Transitional?
Changing our mindset from conventional farming.

And the biggest reward?
Knowing we can do it without synthetics.

Do you have any advice for other farmers transitioning their farmland to organic?
Go slowly and get advice from those who have been there.

What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
Being outside and having a flexible schedule, while having the ability to have my kids involved from an early age.

Final question: What’s the one thing you hope people remember about you?
That we were not only innovative, but effective in being a force for change.

You can find out more about Weeks Family Farms here. Oh, and don’t forget to give Kashi’s Cinnamon French Toast a whirl next time breakfast rolls around so you too can be a force for change by supporting farmers like Ryan.

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