May 26, 2010

Corn farmers head to D.C. with messages about modern family farmers

The Nebraska Corn Board and corn farmers from 13 other states and the National Corn Growers Association as part of the Corn Farmers Coalition announced a new educational effort today aimed at providing facts about modern family farmers to policymakers and opinion leaders in Washington, D.C., who impact the fate of America’s family corn farmers.

"Some myths about farming and corn continue to make the rounds, and this effort will help provide the truths to counter that," Nebraska Corn Board member Curt Friesen, a farmer from Henderson, said in a news release. "At the same time, real American farm families will make up a significant portion of the campaign to help put a face back on farming."

This is important, Friesen said, because many people do not realize that most farms, and 95 percent of corn farms specifically, are family owned and operated. "We need policymakers to understand the decisions they make impact real family farmers, and that it’s these families that are the backbone of this country," he said.

"This awareness is important to our survival," said Darrin Ihnen, president of the National Corn Growers Association and a farmer from South Dakota.

“Our mission is to put a face on today’s family farmers, showcase the productivity and environmental advances being made in the industry, provide factual information on how innovative and high tech corn farmers have become,” said Ihnen. “This is a corn farmer image effort designed for thought leaders in Washington. When all the business news out there seems to be negative, corn farmers have a great story to tell.”

Friesen said the incredible advances in productivity made by today’s corn farmers "allow us to feed and help fuel a nation, while at the same time reducing the environmental footprint of farming. This is a very positive story, and the Nebraska Corn Board is excited to be part of the Corn Farmers Coalition, which allows us to tell that story in a bigger way then we could on our own.”

The main advertising campaign for the Corn Farmers Coalition will begin June 1. Educational efforts will include important facts about family farmers in Capital Hill publications, radio, websites, the Metro (passenger rail) and Reagan National Airport. The program will focus on family farmers telling their story and will continue until Congress recesses in August.

The image above is, in fact, one of the messages that will be used. To view more print ads, click here.

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