June 3, 2010

Corn Farmers Deliver Modern Family Farm Message to D.C.

Corn farmers from Missouri and across the U.S. announced on May 26th they will take the message of the family farm to Washington, D.C., during a summer educational program. Aimed at policymakers and opinion leaders who affect the fate of America’s family corn farmers, this is the second year members of the Corn Farmers Coalition have reached out to Washington.

“Corn growers and family farms play a vital role in sustaining rural economies,” said Kenny McNamar, Missouri Corn Merchandising Council (MCMC) chairman and farmer from Gorin. “According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 95 percent of all corn farms in America are still family owned. Today’s farmers are working hard to be the most efficient producers of food, feed, fiber and fuel in the world. To do this, we need our decision makers to be behind us and understand modern agriculture.”

Through MCMC, corn farmers in Missouri have joined growers in 13 other states and the National Corn Growers Association to create the Corn Farmers Coalition. The goal of this coalition is to introduce a foundation of essential facts needed in the decision-making process rather than directly influencing legislation and regulation.

“Farming is our livelihood and we need those individuals setting policy for our industry to understand the ins and outs of modern production agriculture,” said McNamar. “We are proud of what we do and our goal is to showcase the great strides farmers continue to make environmentally and the innovation and technology we have implemented to become even more effective and efficient.”

The Coalition will launch a major advertising campaign June 1, placing prominent facts about family farmers in Capitol Hill publications, radio, frequently used web sites, the Metro and Reagan National Airport. The initiative, which puts a focus on family farmers telling their story, will continue until Congress recesses in August.

“We have a great story to tell - corn farmers are doing more with less - while supporting our local communities and meeting the world’s growing needs,” concluded McNamar. “Agriculture has always served as the foundation of this country and we intend to continue living up to that responsibility.”

In addition to the ad campaign, farmers representing the coalition will meet with media, members of Congress, environmental groups and others to talk about what’s ahead: how U.S. farmers, using the latest technologies, will continue to expand yields and how this productivity can be a bright spot in an otherwise struggling economy.

Missouri corn farmers are also working with other agricultural organizations at a state level. With the help of the St. Louis Cardinals and left-fielder Matt Holliday, the Missouri coalition is educating consumers on how farmers are “Stepping Up to the Plate” each day to provide a safe, affordable, nutritious food supply. Listen for local farmers and Holliday on the Cardinals Radio Network, at Busch Stadium, or online at www.farmersfeedus.org.

To learn more about the Corn Farmers Coalition visit www.cornfarmerscoalition.org. For more information on Missouri’s corn production and the famers who grow it, click on www.mocorn.org.

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