CommonGround Volunteers Shine a Spotlight on Sustainability

(Posted Fri. Mar 20th, 2015)

This Ag Week, 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. Answering questions focused on the incredible innovation in sustainability practices adopted by today’s farmers, Kellie Blair of Iowa, Kim Bremmer of Wisconsin, Joan Ruskamp of Nebraska and Kristie Swenson of Minnesota 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. 


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.


As sustainability issues have drawn media attention, consumer interest in the environmental impact of their food has also risen.  Volunteers answered many common questions, explaining how farmers constantly aim for improvement, as they have since the first farmers.


“By reaching out to consumers in an open, honest way, we can build relationships and trust that bridge the distance from the farm to the city,” said Bremmer.  “Connecting the women who grow food with those who buy it benefits all farmers because, by building trust, we also build markets and fortify our freedom to operate.”


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.; Montgomery, Ala.; Bakersfield, Calif.; Tampa. Fl.; Rockford, Ill.; Terre Haute, Ind.; Des Moines, Iowa; Wichita, Kan.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Kansas City, Mo.; Lincoln, Neb.; Buffalo, N.Y.; New York City, N.Y.; Greensboro, N.C.; Toledo, Ohio; Erie, Pa.; Waco, Texas; Norfolk, Va.; Milwaukee, Wis.; and Casper, Wyo. Additionally, interviews aired on regional radio stations in Texas and Virginia as well as a regional cable station in Atlanta, Ga.


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