CommonGround Shares a Farm Perspective on Thanksgiving with Millions Nationwide

(Posted Thu. Nov 20th, 2014)

While Americans are busy gobbling up 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving Day, many don’t stop to think about where the food on their tables comes from. For the average American, Thanksgiving probably includes traveling, relaxing, indulging, football watching and spending time with family. However for farm families, the day probably starts and ends with chores, with a little bit of turkey in between.


The ingredients we use in our meals come from family farmers throughout the nation. These dedicated farm families make our safe, nutritious, not to mention, delicious Thanksgiving meals, and every other meal throughout the year possible.  In the United States 93 percent of the 2.1 million farms are family owned and operated.  And while only one percent of Americans claim farming as their occupation, U.S. farming supports more than 24 million jobs. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to hear from the farmers who make this meal possible. Even though grain harvest is wrapping up throughout most of the country, that doesn’t mean the year’s work is done for farmers.


CommonGround volunteers took the story of American farming, their story, to people across the country through a series of interviews with television and radio stations. Discussing how farmers work all year to grow the foods on Americans’ Thanksgiving tables, Julie Kenney and Katie Olthoff of Iowa, Kristin Reese of Ohio and Krista Stauffer of Washington 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.


In a series of interviews, the volunteers helped explain why this Thanksgiving, as families gather to eat a wholesome meal, they should be thankful for a safe and healthy food supply from family farmers. They also shared what the holiday is like on their farms, as well as some of their favorite dishes from their own Thanksgiving family traditions.


Over the course of the morning, the four women took part in 25 interviews, both live and taped, which will reach a national audience through both television and radio.


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: Huntsville, Ala.; Fort Meyers, Fla.; Gainesville, Fla.; Tampa, Fla.; Atlanta, Ga.; Rockford, Ill.; Detroit, Mich.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Lincoln, Neb.; New York City, N.Y.; Charlotte, N.C.; Greensboro; N.C.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Toledo, Ohio; Charleston, S.C.; Greenville, S.C.; Tyler, Texas; Green Bay, Wis.; and Casper, Wyo.  Interviews were also conducted with regional Texas radio and the USA Radio Network’s “Daybreak USA” program, which reaches a national audience of more than 2.5 million. Additionally, Olthoff provided an interview to CRN Digital Talk Radio’s “What’s Cookin’ Today” show, which reaches a national audience of more than three million.


Video from these interviews will be posted to the National Corn Growers Association’s website as available.


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 at