Grower Days Event Returns to Idaho Falls to Recognize Generations of Barley Growers and Support Future Farmers as part of Brewer’s Commitment to 2025 Sustainability Goals
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (June 27, 2018) – Barley gives beer its soul, and this year, Anheuser-Busch is celebrating 50 years of partnership and collaboration with Idaho Falls barley growers, who carefully cultivate this essential ingredient, during its annual Grower Days event, taking place Friday, July 13, in Idaho Falls.
Creating shared value between the brewer and its thousands of barley grower partners to sustainably grow the best barley for the highest-quality beer is a company-wide effort. Through the recently announced Anheuser-Busch U.S. 2025 Sustainability Goals, the company committed to Smart Agriculture, ensuring 100 percent of its direct farmers will be skilled, connected and financially empowered within the next eight years. Grower Days is an opportunity to drive this forward, bringing Anheuser-Busch grower partners together with experts in innovation and sustainability.
Anheuser-Busch’s Smart Agriculture goal targets the first step in the beer-making process - growing and harvesting barley and hops - while the three additional goals focus on carbon reduction, circular packaging and water stewardship. Our goal is to have 100 percent of our facilities, including the farms where barley is grown, engaged in water efficiency efforts by 2025. In the past decade, Anheuser-Busch reduced water usage by nearly 38 percent; however, the new goals will aim higher to reduce water usage by another 9 percent.
“As a truly global brewer, we rely on a healthy natural environment and thriving communities in order to brew beers that will continue to bring people together into the future,” said Ingrid De Ryck, vice president, Procurement & Sustainability for Anheuser-Busch. “These ambitious new goals require participation and marked improvement across every piece of our business, from the wholesalers and brewers, to the growers nurturing our barley from the ground up.”
As the center of any great beer, barley serves not only as the starting point for creating a high-quality beer, but also the initial touchpoint for improved sustainability efforts. Anheuser-Busch will use its upcoming Grower Days event to share best practices and educate growers on its global sustainability goals and Smart Agriculture programs such as:
- SmartBarley, which helps growers produce the most “crop per drop” of water through benchmarking.
- LESA, a pivot irrigation technology that waters closer to the ground to save up to 20 percent of the water and energy required to irrigate.
- AgriMet, an irrigation scheduler that gives growers real-time access to weather and water data.
- New Barley Varieties, see the latest improved varieties from Anheuser-Busch’s barley breeding team.
- Crop Management Trials, which provide key management information about proprietary barley varieties, including seeding rate, fertilizer rate, growth regulators, and more.
“At Anheuser-Busch, we have a saying, ‘barley today, Budweiser tomorrow,’ which rings true, as barley is one of the four key ingredients critical in making high-quality beer,” said John Drake, director of Western Malting Operations for Anheuser-Busch. “It gives beer its beautiful range of colors, its sweetness, alcohol component, unmistakable aroma and ultimately, the flavor we all know and love. It is because of this that we have made a promise to continue to work hand-in-hand with U.S. barley growers to innovate, drive barley research and lead the way in sustainable barley growing practices.”
The 2018 Grower Days event will take growers, their families and other select attendees behind the scenes of the Anheuser-Busch Idaho Falls Malt Plant to witness state-of-the art technology used to process the Idaho barley that makes its way into almost three beers in every six-pack of Budweiser sold in America. The event will also recognize and award farmers under the age of 35 who are running their own businesses or continuing the family legacy of growing barley.
Following the private portion of the event, the ticket-holding community is invited to join the celebration at 4:30 p.m. MT, for a show with the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales, food and drinks, and live musical performances by Jack Ingram, Clare Dunn and Matt Stillwell.
For more than 165 years, Anheuser-Busch has been woven into the cultural fabric of the United States, carrying on a legacy of brewing great-tasting, high-quality beers that have satisfied beer drinkers for generations. Today, we own and operate 22 breweries, 20 distributorships and 22 agricultural and packaging facilities, and have more than 18,000 colleagues across the United States. We are home to several of America’s most recognizable beer brands, including Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and Stella Artois, as well as a number of regional brands that provide beer drinkers with a choice of the best-tasting craft beers in the industry.
From responsible drinking programs and emergency drinking water donations to industry-leading sustainability efforts, we are guided by our unwavering commitment to supporting the communities we call home.