December 2021, Word From the Board

Becky Mattan Pratt
Vice President, Wheatsfield Board of Directors

As a new Wheatsfield board member, I’d like to introduce myself and say thank you for this opportunity to serve. One of multiple reasons I am here, which is becoming more important as the world addresses problems such as climate change, is that Wheatsfield’s mission, vision and values align with my passions for sustainability and accessibility to healthy, delicious food.

Sustainability is woven into my personal history. My grandparents lived off the land by farming, raising livestock, planting expansive vegetable gardens and groves of fruit trees. They raised seven children in this manner, my father being one of them. My grandfather knew he needed to nurture the land so it would continue taking care of his family. He stood firm on sustainable farming practices throughout the Green Revolution and was one of the last farmers in his area to move from draft horses to tractor.

Summers in my early years were filled by helping my grandparents on the farm. Two vivid memories of times with my grandmother are harvesting apricots and lunches in the farmhouse kitchen. When harvesting, my grandmother would hoist herself into the crook of her apricot trees and shake the branches. I was mesmerized by the ripe apricots dropping onto her colorful quilts, carefully arranged under the trees to prevent fruit from bruising. For lunch, she shared bread and ring sausage, both made with her hands. She titled them “bologna sandwiches.” I had no idea highly processed bologna existed until I was 12 years old.

Of course, environmental responsibility looks a little different in a business like Wheatsfield than at my grandparents farm, but the core concepts are the same. Reducing waste, investing in quality infrastructure, and supporting like-minded businesses and products throughout our supply chain. Currently Wheatsfield holds Platinum status in the City of Ames Smart Business Challenge. If you would like to know more, just visit the Co-op’s Sustainability page here.

As the store continues to grow, we are excited to continue as a leader in environmental responsibility – as it impacts our community and the globe. The board recognizes that businesses, governments and individuals need to do more and that it will require planning and measurement. You may have seen the calls to participate in the Ames community Climate Action Plan (CAP) survey in recent Wheatsfield emails. The CAP is a vital component of our community response to the climate emergency as it will set a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target and provide a path to get there for all Ames residents and businesses. We encourage members to take this survey which is open until December 10th.

We applaud the efforts of the City of Ames and the community members who have been involved in launching and shaping the Climate Action Plan, and look forward to participating in the next phase and further reducing our climate impact.

If the CAP is new to you, resources are below.
Ames City Council Workshop on Climate Action Plan:
If you prefer a written summary, a briefing document is on the CAP project website at the link below. plan#documents
If you would like to follow progress on CAP, a link to subscribe to updates can be found by scrolling up from the documents.

In closing, I would like to add that the Wheatsfield board will be represented at the December 21st CAP Steering Committee Meeting, either in person, viewing on livestream or both.

Thank you again for this opportunity. I look forward to my first term on the Co-op board.

Becky Mattan Pratt