When founder Zack Gazzaniga decided to start his own tortilla chip company, Zack’s Mighty, his mission was to create a delicious chip that didn’t break in guacamole.
His quest to create the perfect chip took him to Italy, where he acquired Otto File flint corn (a very flavorful variety of flint corn now mostly grown in Italy for polenta), and then back to the U.S. to plant and grow it.
When connecting with farms to partner with to grow the corn, Zack began learning about regenerative agriculture and its benefits for the soil and climate. “Regenerative agriculture made so much sense to me that I decided then that this would be a pillar of our business and a mandate that everyone who grows our corn follows regenerative practices,” he says.
Regenerative agriculture combines conservation and rehabilitation practices to improve farmland soil and combat climate change. These practices include less tillage, crop rotation, cover cropping, and composting.
One of the farmers Zack connected with to grow organic and regenerative corn was Bryce Irlbeck in Manning, Iowa. “We began [fully] regenerative farming in 2019, but have been doing different aspects such as cover cropping and crop rotation for 10 years.”
Bryce’s farm in Iowa was one of Zack’s Mighty’s partner farms that spent two years in partnership with A Greener World, evaluating farm standards, plans, and auditing procedures to receive Certified Regenerative certification. This certification provides a whole-farm assurance of regeneration and sustainability, measuring benefits for soil, water, air, biodiversity, infrastructure, animal welfare, and social responsibility. As of August 2022, all of Zack’s Mighty partner farms were officially certified.
Bryce’s advice to farmers looking to begin regenerative practices is to first “focus on figuring out a [crop] rotation since each area of the country will be different due to markets and weather patterns.”
Zack’s Mighty is thrilled to have cultivated a supply chain that uses organic ingredients and Certified Regenerative corn — ensuring its customers can be proud to align their values with their purchase.
“Our mission to make the best tortilla chip on the market starts with our ingredients and how they are produced. We want to assure our customers that we value transparency and source only high-quality ingredients to create delicious products that are truly good for the planet,” says Zack.