Meet the McKaskles

As fifth generation farmers of McKaskle Family Farm, Kaye and Steve McKaskle strive to preserve their land for future generations. The McKaskles cultivate a variety of crops, including rice, popcorn, soybeans, corn, and cotton, on their 3,000 acres in Braggadocio, Missouri. Steve McKaskle was an early adopter of climate-smart agriculture, pioneering organic weed and pest control and started experimenting with cover cropping methods on rice fields in 2022. These and other Climate-Friendly practices lower greenhouse gas emissions, save water, and reduce air pollution. McKaskle Family Farm received a Climate-Friendly certification from AgriCapture on their rice acres, allowing the McKaskles to differentiate their crop from conventional rice.

Located just a few steps away from one of the McKaskle’s Climate-Friendly Rice fields is Braggadocio Rice Mill, which the McKaskles opened in 2015 and have been operating since. As a dedicated Climate-Friendly Rice farmer, Steve McKaskle understands the importance of traceability in processing and distributing his rice. “Tracing rice through the mill produces high-quality rice directly connected to the environmental benefits created during the growing season,” says Steve. “Buyers like knowing exactly where their rice comes from and the regenerative practices we use.”

To ensure traceability, Braggadocio Rice Mill established procedures to identity preserve rice from McKaskle Family Farm, as well as large quantities of rice coming from other Climate-Friendly farms across the region. Since opening the on-site mill, McKaskle Family Farm has had greater control over its rice quality and traceability. The mill has consistently surpassed industry-leading rigorous standards for cleanliness, identity preservation, and rice quality.

Photos from McKaskle Family Farm and Braggadocio Rice Mill.

Guaranteed Identity Preservation

Braggadocio Rice Mill became a member of AgriCapture’s Climate-Friendly mill network following a certification of its identity preservation procedures. As part of its Identity Preservation program, AgriCapture completes an assessment of each mill prior to adding it to the Climate-Friendly network. The assessment ensures that mill operations uphold identity preservation requirements outlined in The AgriCapture Climate-Friendly Rice Standard. AgriCapture audits partner mills by conducting site visits and requiring documentation demonstrating adherence to procedures during identity preserved processing.

Climate-Friendly Rice growing steps from Braggadocio Rice Mill.

AgriCapture team member discussing rice storage with Climate-Friendly farmer, Trey Lawfield.

In addition to mill requirements, farmers must maintain and provide records that demonstrate identity preservation procedures during harvest, drying, storage, and transport to a certified partner mill. Braggadocio Rice Mill will not accept rice that was not stored or transported separately during post-harvest activities. Fellow Missouri Climate-Friendly Rice farmers, Jarrett and Trey Lawfield, have received a Climate-Friendly certification from AgriCapture for on-farm activity and efforts to keep rice separate after harvest, and send their rice to be milled at Braggadocio Rice Mill.

By monitoring the milling of all Climate-Friendly rice through an approved network partner, AgriCapture can ensure environmental benefits and quality are retained from the farm through post-harvest processing of large quantities of rice. Neighboring farms trust the quality commitments and identity preservation measures in place at the McKaskle’s mill.

“The biggest challenge is knowing that our Climate-Friendly crop might get mixed with everyone else’s. It is important for us to know that the climate benefits and added work will remain linked to our finished rice, which allows us to differentiate it in the market,” says Climate-Friendly farmer, Jarrett Lawfield.

Meet the Lawfields

Step by Step Traceability

The AgriCapture Climate-Friendly Rice Standard requires that at no point shall Climate-Friendly Rice mix with non-certified rice. At Braggadocio Rice Mill, mill operators document every rice processing step from arrival to machinery cleaning to packaging. Procedures and measures are in place to completely clean mill machinery and short-term storage bins before contact with a new supply of rice. Once Climate-Friendly Rice is accepted at Braggadocio Rice Mill, the following procedures and steps ensure identity preservation:

1. Arrival

Braggadocio Rice Mill weighs truckloads of rice upon arrival at the mill. Scale tickets account for the quantity, type, and farm origin. Rice must have remained separate and been dried properly to protect its quality during milling.

2. Short-term Storage

After rice is accepted, it is moved to short-term storage before processing. Short term storage, or day bins, keep rice separated by farmer with clear labeling to support identity preservation.

3. Cleaning

Short-term storage bins and all mill machinery are deep cleaned in between processing rice from different farms.

4. Scheduled Milling

Preparation and scheduling guarantees that Climate-Friendly Rice is processed in a clean mill and does not mix with rice from different or non-certified farms.

5. Pick-up & Packaging

Packaging rice immediately or planning for pick-up of bulk rice ensures it does not need to be stored with other rice after milling.

Climate-Friendly Rice ready for pick up from the mill.

After all necessary procedures are in place to identity preserve through the mill, rice is processed to remove the outer husk to produce high-quality white or brown rice free of impurities.

“We are confident our mill is set up to guarantee Climate-Friendly Rice is identity preserved but receiving AgriCapture’s certification supports the advantages of rice milled at Braggadocio Rice Mill,” says Steve. “Having an independent party certify that Climate-Friendly qualities are traced through the supply chain adds an extra layer of oversight that is important to us, our buyers, and the Climate-Friendly farmers we work with.”

Results

After understanding the mill’s capabilities, verifying procedures, and issuing a certification, AgriCapture partners with the supplying farm and the mill to plan for deliveries. By monitoring the milling process to prevent the comingling of Climate-Friendly and conventional rice, AgriCapture can ensure Climate-Friendly Rice is delivered to buyers.

This Identity Preservation during post-harvest processing maintains the climate benefits cultivated during the growing season including lowered GHG emissions, water conservation, and reduced air pollution. As a result, every purchase of rice is tied to a Climate-Friendly farm doing the right thing for people and planet.

For more information on the AgriCapture Climate-Friendly Rice Standard, contact:
Emma Koeze
Climate-Friendly Product Manager
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