Cultures Sustainable Agriculture

Valent BioSciences Unveil New Prairie Park and Solar Field in Iowa

Valent BioSciences leads the way in sustainability by unveiling a new prairie park and solar field in Osage, Iowa.

Valent BioSciences LLC, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd., demonstrated its unwavering commitment to sustainability and corporate social value by officially dedicating a new prairie park and solar field next to its manufacturing facility in Osage, Iowa. The dedication ceremony on June 24th marked a significant milestone in the company’s efforts to promote environmental stewardship and community engagement.

The centerpiece of this sustainability initiative is the Jiri-Rita Prairie Park, a 34-acre native prairie designed to provide a diverse habitat for various species of birds, butterflies, insects, reptiles, and small wildlife. By reclaiming farmland and reconstructing a native tallgrass prairie, Valent BioSciences has created an ecosystem comprising native grasses, flowering plants, trees, and shrubs. The park also features several walking trails open to the public.

In addition to serving as a recreational space for local residents, the prairie park will also function as a living laboratory for studying soil health and carbon sequestration, specifically investigating the impact of MycoApply® mycorrhizal inoculant. By actively engaging in research and development, Valent BioSciences aims to promote sustainable agricultural practices and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Alongside the prairie park, Valent BioSciences inaugurated the Maple City Solar Field, which began operating in December 2022. Developed in collaboration with OneEnergy Renewables and Heartland Power Cooperative, this 1.5-megawatt solar field consists of 3,432 bifacial solar panels that generate approximately 3.4 million kilowatt hours of solar-generated electricity annually. This renewable energy source is equivalent to powering approximately 425 average-sized homes. The solar field represents Valent BioSciences’ dedication to reducing its carbon footprint and supporting the transition to clean energy.

Moreover, to reinforce its commitment to renewable energy, Valent BioSciences, and OneEnergy Renewables have generously donated 18 solar panels to the Osage Community Schools. This contribution is a testament to the company’s desire to empower the local community and encourage sustainable practices in educational institutions. Ted Melnik, President and CEO of Valent BioSciences, expressed his gratitude to the local community for its ongoing partnership and emphasized the importance of showcasing innovative technologies and initiatives that bring sustainable solutions to farmers while reducing carbon emissions. Sumitomo Chemical Co., Valent BioSciences’ parent company, has set ambitious targets, aiming for a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050.

The Osage manufacturing facility, where these initiatives are taking place, is the world’s largest purpose-built biorational manufacturing facility. Using state-of-the-art technologies, the facility produces environmentally friendly inputs for use in agriculture, public health, and forest health. The manufacturing processes employed at the plant prioritize energy efficiency, water conservation, and reduced carbon dioxide emissions. Currently undergoing a substantial expansion, the facility is expected to enhance manufacturing capacity significantly by the second quarter of 2024.

Osage Mayor Steve Cooper commended Valent BioSciences for its commitment to sustainability and the positive impact it has had on the local community. The Jiri-Rita Prairie Park and the Maple City Solar Field are notable additions that showcase the company’s dedication to environmental responsibility and provide residents with valuable assets to enjoy.

Valent BioSciences LLC, headquartered in Libertyville, Illinois, is a global leader in the development, manufacturing, and commercialization of biorational products and technologies. With over 60 years of experience in 95 countries worldwide, the company has a proven track record of bringing environmentally friendly products to the agriculture, public health, and forest health markets. Additionally, Valent BioSciences is the parent company of Pace International LLC, a renowned provider of postharvest coatings, sanitizers, and disease management products, as well as Mycorrhizal Applications LLC, the world’s leading supplier of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi-based products.

Valent BioSciences’ sustainability initiatives, exemplified by the Jiri-Rita Prairie Park and the Maple City Solar Field, reinforce the company’s commitment to sustainable practices, community engagement, and environmental stewardship. By implementing these initiatives and actively pursuing renewable energy sources, Valent BioSciences is building a more sustainable future.

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