(Posted Mon. Jun 3rd, 2013)
Jun. 3: For the fifth year in a row, policymakers in our nation’s capital are learning about the U.S. family farmers who produce corn, our nation’s top crop, as part of the Corn Farmers Coalition program. Once again, the program, which is sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association and its state affiliates, showcases how innovative and high-tech corn farmers have become by introducing a foundation of facts about farmers and farming.
“This has always been a crucial time of year in Washington to make sure our lawmakers and those who influence them remember the importance of corn farming to our nation and our economy,” said Pam Johnson, NCGA president and a corn grower in Iowa. “Our state corn checkoff programs have seen the importance of this program each year for educating a very important audience about this essential crop and its high value.”
The Corn Farmers Coalition program launched June 1 with a major advertising presence in Washington that puts prominent facts about family farmers in front of thousands on Capitol Hill, starting with “station domination” at Union Station through the month of June. The large-format ads will travel to the Capitol South Metro station for July. In addition, online advertising will appear in publications such as Politico, Washington Post, the New York Times, Roll Call, National Journal, and Congressional Quarterly.
Among the facts presented in the campaign, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:
- America's corn farmers exported $7.6 billion worth of corn last year—one of the few U.S. products with a trade surplus.
- 95 percent of all corn farms in America are family owned, and family farmers grow 90 percent of America's corn.
- Thanks to advanced technology, last year corn farmers delivered the 8th largest crop – despite the worst drought since 1936.
This year, the campaign also features important messages from Field to Market, the Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture:
- America's corn farmers have cut soil erosion 67 percent by using innovative conservation methods.
- The energy used to grow a bushel of corn decreased 43 percent, thanks to family farmers' use of technology.
- The land required to grow a bushel of corn has decreased by 30 percent.
- Corn farmers have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 36 percent, thanks to improved farming practices.