Sakata Seed Helps American Heart Association Raises $44,000

Sakata Seed America Supports the AHA through its Sakata Gives Corporate Giving Program

New Release Edited by Patrick Cavanaugh

During the month of October, as part of its Sakata Gives Corporate Giving Program, Sakata Seed America, a world leader in breeding and producing vegetable and flower seed, participated in two walks, including a special Sakata-coordinated campus walk, to raise awareness and much-needed funds for the American Heart Association.

On the morning of October 20th, Sakata Seed America staff, friends and family joined the annual American Heart Association Central Coast Heart & Stroke Walk. The 5K walk commenced at the Depot Lot and continued along the scenic coastal pathway located in Monterey. More than 275 Central Coast residents and visitors gathered for the annual Heart Walk to raise life-saving funds and awareness for heart disease and stroke.

The event which included 19 teams, including Team Sakata, raised more than $44,000. Team Sakata raised $3,772 for the walk, earning the titles of Top Team, Top Company, and Top Walker (Jamie Kitz). Funds raised from the Heart Walk will benefit research, advocacy, outreach, and education.

In addition, on the morning of October 3rd the Sakata staff stepped out at their own regional offices for a companywide Heart Walk staged at seven of their campuses throughout the United States, including major locations in Yuma, AZ; Morgan Hill, CA; Salinas, CA; Woodland, CA; Ft. Myers, FL; Mt. Vernon, WA; and Burlington, WA.

A first for Sakata and the American Heart Association, Sakata’s coordinated campus walk was the “heartchild” of Jamie Kitz, Program Manager for Sakata Gives, the company’s Corporate Giving Program. Kitz said, “Partnering with strong community-minded organizations as the American Heart Association speaks to the essence of the Sakata Gives. We love engaging in our communities through activities that contribute to the betterment of both life and culture.”

To encourage and thank walkers, 400 colorful tulips were generously donated by Sun Valley Floral Farm. Participants were thrilled to walk away with gorgeous blooms that made for even happier hearts! Sakata was pleased to build awareness and camaraderie at their own facilities and blaze a new trail in fundraising for the American Heart Association.

From humble beginnings, the AHA has grown into the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. A shared focus on cardiovascular health unites their more than 33 million volunteers and supporters as well as their more than 3,400 employees. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the No. 1 killer, and stroke ranks as the country’s No. 5 killer. For nearly 100 years, the AHA has been fighting heart disease and stroke, striving to save and improve lives.

Kelly LaPorta, Regional Director for the American Heart Association states, “It is evident that the mission of the American Heart Association is a mission that is near and dear to the hearts of the Sakata Family. Heart Walk is our premiere event for raising funds to save lives from heart disease and stroke and Sakata has fielded a team for the past six years. Happily, Sakata wanted to do more. They wanted to be sure they could participate at the highest level and raise the most funds and awareness—hence we decided to co-host our first coordinated campus walk for Sakata and it was a huge success!”

Overall, roughly 110 Sakata employees participated in the two walks and raised over $4,900 for the cause.

For more information on the Heart & Stroke Walk visit www.centralcoastheartwalk.org

Sakata Seed America Awarded Title of ‘Water Saving Hero’

Sakata Seed America Awarded Title of ‘Water Saving Hero,’ Sets Example during Severe California Drought

Sakata Seed America is doing their part to ‘Go Green’ and conserve water during the severe California drought. The drought has taken a huge toll on the entire state; however, it has hit both the Agricultural and Horticultural industries particularly hard. According to a study by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, “the drought is expected to be worse for California’s agricultural economy this year because of reduced water availability…Farmers will have 2.7 million acre-feet less surface water than they would in a normal water year – about 33 percent loss of water supply. Individual farmers will face losses of zero to 100 percent.” In response, Sakata has made it a priority to focus on ways to reduce their water usage and boost long-term sustainability for the future.

In 2014, two main projects were completed to conserve water at the Morgan Hill office headquarters. First, 12,500 square feet of turf was removed and replaced with drought-tolerant plants and landscape coverage. In addition, the overhead sprinklers were removed and replaced with a low-volume drip system. The estimated water savings for the 2014 updates totals to 300,000 gallons of water annually. For the remaining turf, complete irrigation updates were implemented, and over 275 sprinkler nozzles were upgraded to a weather track system which reduces water when it’s not needed, resulting in an additional 50,000 gallons of water conserved annually.

This year, Sakata has already begun their next phase of water reduction. Thus far, 16,088 additional square footage of turf has been removed from the front of the company’s headquarters and replaced with a new, drought-resistance landscape and low-volume drip systems. And it doesn’t stop there, Sakata’s internal committee, ‘GreenUp,’ which is solely dedicated to creating a greener work environment has a lot more in store for the future – some immediate plans for facility upgrades include water-saving restroom updates such as touchless faucets. In addition, the committee is distributing free shower buckets to all interested employees.

Sakata’s water conservation efforts have not gone unnoticed. In September 2014, Sakata was deemed the title of a ‘Water Saving Hero’ and presented a plaque by the Santa Clara Valley Water District, who have been encouraging water conservation all over Santa Clara County with their ‘Brown is the New Green’ campaign, which distributes free ‘Brown is the New Green’ lawn signs, shower buckets, moisture meters, shower timers, shower heads and hose nozzles for Santa Clara county residents.

“It’s part of our responsibility to the community and the industry to conserve water and lower our carbon footprint. We are proud of our efforts thus far, but are determined to take it further and become a role model for other companies,”states Tye Anderson, Senior Logistics & Operations Manager for Sakata.

Sakata’s GreenUp committee’s future plans stretch far beyond lessening water usage and focus on sustainability as a whole. Long-term goals include such workplace additions as bike racks and charging stations for electric cars.

For more information on how you can help conserve water during the California drought, please visit: www.saveourwater.com. For more on Sakata’s contribution, read the full article.

#

Headquartered in Morgan Hill, CA, Sakata Seed America is a major research, seed production and marketing-distribution subsidiary of Sakata Seed Corporation, established in 1913.   Sakata Seed America serves as the headquarters for the North American operations.  

Featured Photo: Sakata’s Tye Anderson accepts Water Saving Hero Award