The nation’s top crop and the farm families who grow it return to the U.S. capital this summer for the fourth year in a row as part of the Corn Farmers Coalition educational program that debuted June 1 at Union Station, an important venue for reaching policymakers inside “The Beltway.”
“Nine of the largest corn crops in U.S. history have been grown in the last decade by family farmers. Corn is incredibly versatile and our ability to grow it so successfully has made huge contributions to our economy and balance of trade,” said Jay Lynch, fifth- generation farmer from Humboldt, Iowa. “When people hear of this increased productivity in conjunction with the rapid environmental improvements coming from our family farmers it gives them an important perspective on this critical job.”
Corn farmers from 14 states and the National Corn Growers Association are supporting the Corn Farmers Coalition program to introduce a foundation of facts seen as essential to decision making, rather than directly influencing legislation and regulation.
“Direct outreach by farmers like me is putting a face on today’s family farmers and raising overall awareness with legislators, leaders or governmental agencies from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Department of State, think tanks, lobbyists and environmental groups. Awareness of the innovation, technology, and generations of accumulated knowledge on our farms today should be a part of our national dialogue about agriculture,” Lynch said.
The Corn Farmers Coalition is launching its major advertising campaign by taking over every available ad space at Union Station. The effort will also put prominent facts about family farmers in Capitol Hill publications, radio, frequently used websites, and other Metro locations in June and July.
“The response to the CFC’s proactive efforts to educate key audiences in Washington has been extremely positive since its inception,” said NCGA President Garry Niemeyer, an Illinois farmer. “As urban and suburban America gets further removed from the agricultural roots that made our nation strong, it becomes ever more important to reach out and maintain this connection.”
The coalition will meet with media, members of Congress, environmental groups and others to talk about farming’s bright future: how U.S. farmers, using the latest technologies, will continue to meet the demands of a growing population and how this productivity can be a bright spot in an otherwise struggling economy.