At a time when discussions around farm issues turn to cost cutting and perhaps a little lack of understanding about what really goes in your business, a group of farmers arrived in Washington, DC this week in an effort to set the record straight.
For the third straight year, the Corn Farmers Coalition has arrived inside "The Beltway" to explain you today's modern farms operation. Kansas Corn Commission Chairman Mike Brzon, who farms near Courtland, Kan., says "Even in the 21st Century, corn farming remains a family operation. In many cases, such as mine, this vocation goes back multiple generations. The family farmer growing corn for a hungry world isn't a myth, but a critical economic engine for our country and it's important that policymakers and influencers realize this."
Corn farmers from 14 states and the National Corn Growers Association are supporting the Corn Farmers Coalition program to introduce what they call a foundation of facts seen as essential to decision making, rather than directly influencing legislation and regulation. The aim, says Brzon, is to put a face on today's family farmers to showcase the productivity and environmental advances being made in the industry and to provide factual information about how "innovative and high-tech corn farmers have become."
The group is launching its major advertising campaign this week with "station saturation" at Union Station. The aim is to get those facts about family farmers in Capitol Hill publications, radio, frequently used websites, the Metro and Reagan National Airport. The program continues until Congress recess in August.
Timing this year is especially important given that debate and discussion of the 2012 Farm Bill is already underway. The Senate Ag Committee started holding hearings last week on the measure.
NCGA President Bart Schott notes one issue about the folks inside the Beltway - there a lot of new faces. "We have many new people to educate," he says. He notes the program is not just about advertising. The group will meet with media, members of Congress, environmental groups and others to talk about farming's future. To learn more about the group's work, visit www.cornfarmerscoalition.org.