APRIL 2013

CommonGround Brings Story of Farming to Homes across the Country

(Posted Wed. Apr 3rd, 2013)

Apr. 3: Yesterday, CommonGround volunteers Kristin Reese and LaVelle Winsor took the story of American farming, their story, to people across the country through a series of interviews with blogs and television and radio stations. Answering questions on issues such as organic foods and biotechnology, Reese and Winsor opened the barn doors, offering themselves and their fellow CommonGround volunteers as a resource for consumers with questions about where their food comes from and how it is grown.

“It is natural for people who aren’t involved in the raising or growing of their food to have questions about how that is done,” said Reese, who farms in Ohio. “What I want to do, along with my fellow volunteers, is start a conversation with people who have these types of questions so that we can share and learn from one another. No one should have to fear their food, but if someone has concerns, we are there to share our experience as farmers.”

Over the course of the morning, Reese and Winsor took part in 25 interviews, both live and taped, which will reach 21 specific media markets and blog readers and radio listeners nationally.

Winsor, who farms in Kansas, noted that “with most Americans now two or three generations removed from farming, it makes sense that so many people are looking to find out more about the foods they eat and who grows them. For example, a lot of the people that I have met through CommonGround have been genuinely surprised to learn that about 96 percent of American farms are family farms. Personally, my husband and I farm with my in-laws. I have found that people are excited to find out that families, much like their own, grow their food. Through honest, open dialogue with farmers, people might be surprised to find what an incredible story their food has to tell and how it just keeps getting better.”

While many hosts focused on how people with questions could use CommonGround volunteers and the group’s website to find information, the women also responded to a variety of specific questions about production practices, technology and the difference between the wide variety of food choices available to American consumers.

In response to a question about the growing popularity of organic foods, Reese explained that “CommonGround volunteers include farmers who use both traditional and organic methods, and we truly support the ability to choose the foods they feel best for their family. While we embrace the diversity of agriculture, we do want to offer information about how all kinds of food are grown so that shoppers can make the best choices for their unique family based on solid information. Whether organic or traditionally grown, America’s farmers grow and raise an array of healthy, nutritious foods that consumers can feel confident about feeding their families.”

Many of the stations involved in this tour aired the interviews live, but quite a few others taped the segments to run over the coming weeks. Interviews will air in: Harrisburg, Penn.; Cheyenne, Wyo.; Lima, Ohio; Huntsville, Ala.; Rochester, N.Y.; Peoria, Ill.; Rochester, Minn.; Mason City, Iowa; Boston, Mass.; Evansville, Ind.; Toledo, Ohio; Monroe, La.; Amarillo, Texas; Minneapolis, Minn.; New Orleans, La.; Abilene, Texas; Albuquerque, N.M.; Fargo, N.D.; Detroit, Mich.; Toledo, Ohio; St. Louis, Mo.; and in many parts of Virginia. Additionally, information from these interviews will be featured in blogs such as Celebrate Woman Today, Earnest Parenting and Motherhood Moment and on radio stations across the country through It’s Your Health Network.

Video from these interviews will be posted to the National Corn Growers Association’s website as available. Those interested in watching clips from yesterday now do so by watching the video below.

CommonGround is a grass-roots movement to foster conversation among women — on farms and in cities — about where our food comes from. The National Corn Growers Association, the United Soybean Board and their state affiliates developed CommonGround to give farm women the opportunity to engage with consumers through the use of a wide range of activities.

Have another question about your food? Find CommonGround online: