(Posted Thu. Sep 4th, 2014)
Congress returned to Capitol Hill this week, and so did the positive corn farming messages at the heart of the Corn Farmers Coalition education program. Conventional print ads and digital ads will be in all the major Washington publications. Advertising in the Metro system will also be expanded to include “station domination,” with Coalition messages featured in every available ad space in the heavily trafficked Capitol South transportation hub behind the House office buildings.
“The public disconnect with food and farming is a growing societal issue and the Corn Farmers Coalition seeks to reconnect us all with America’s family farmers,” said Martin Barbre, National Corn Growers Association president and Illinois farmer. “Through innovation, technology and ingenuity, farmers are meeting our growing needs for food, fuel, feed and fiber. And it’s important the public knows we are doing so with a shared commitment to doing so in an environmentally sustainable way.”
Coalition ads have come to Washington each summer since 2009 and reach a broad audience of policy makers, environmental groups, government agency employees, lobbyists, think tanks, media and tourists. Each year, the fact-based campaign has focused on a short list of messages geared toward expanding the knowledge base of these key individuals but also expand their appreciation of the contributions of corn farmers to the economy and quality of life.
“We continue to talk about how family farmers grow 90% of America's corn because it resonates so well,” Barbre said, “But how we are growing the crop is equally important so the campaign also relies on telling our audience that, for example, America’s sustainability-minded family corn farmers have planted 1.2 million miles of conservation buffer strips to protect the soil and improve water quality. The Corn Farmers Coalition is a catalyst for discussion with these important audiences and we have a great success story to relay.”
Featuring real farmers and farm families is a central element of the approach and continues to be an important part of the ads in 2014. However, an increased focus is also put on the growing role of technology in the industry and the importance of a new generation choosing farming as a profession.
You can learn more about the Corn Farmers Coalition online.