As the commodity crops lead principal, Laura Sands spearheads KCoe Isom’s food and agricultural initiatives and builds broad alliances to enact public policies that address global concerns. With Laura facilitating meaningful conversations, producers needn’t respond reactively to government, NGO, or private initiatives, but instead proactively chart their own course and ensure they influence the future of ag. Some of the impact of her work includes:
- Bringing production ag and environmentalists together for a joint solution to clean water legislation.
- Working on public policy initiatives that resulted in a farm bill by farmers, for farmers.
- Advising on supply-chain sustainability programs for the US Dairy industry and other leading ag groups, reducing the natural resource impact, while at the same time, decreasing producers’ operational costs.
Keeping her finger on the pulse of emerging agricultural issues, Laura deals with big change at the nexus of public policy, agriculture, and environmental challenges. She develops messaging strategies, creates valuable connections among those with diverse interests, and develops supply chain sustainability initiatives. Bringing people together with experts and NGO partners to face issues head-on, Laura nails down answers to tough questions. What’s working? What’s practical and meaningful to do as an industry? What’s the impact to each stakeholder? What do we measure? How do we track progress and innovation over time?
Laura works with a variety of agencies, associations, and public policy initiative groups, including AGree, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the U.S. dairy and wheat industries, Environmental Defense Fund, the Energy Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and many international agribusinesses. She is influential as a frequent speaker on agricultural sustainability trends and topics, presenting at Commodity Classic, The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers (TEPAP), and the Agricultural Association of Production Executives (AAPEX) as well as the DTN Summit and Top Producer conferences.
Growing up on a farm in Northwestern Minnesota, Laura’s entire career centers around subjects that matter to rural America. She was the Washington editor for Farm Journal Media publications and features editor for Top Producer. As the world nears 9 billion inhabitants, all of whom have to eat, Laura Sands firmly believes ag will be the most important industry in the world. And she enjoys being at the forefront, shaping public policy on behalf of ag producers, the environment, and society, overall.