As part of a coalition effort, the Illinois Corn Marketing Board is using corn checkoff dollars to help build conversations and enhance the education of non-farm influential women in the Chicagoland area. Through Illinois Farm Families, ICMB partners with the Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Pork Producers Association and Illinois Soybean Association to help connect farmers and consumers together, bridging the communication gap.
Planning for 2013 program year
Members of the IFF coalition met in late August to plan for the 2013 program year. We’ll be emphasizing measurement and milestones in the new year, quantifying the ways in which we’re reaching and impacting consumers and engaging farmers. We’ll recruit a new and expanded group of Field Moms, so look for another round of farm visits this year. Improvements to the www.watchusgrow.org website will have us focusing on more topical information and keeping farmers engaged in conversations about current events affecting food and consumers.
Field Moms’ wrap-up visit
The 2012 Field Moms will make their final official farm visit this weekend. They’ll visit Funk Farms in Shirley, Ill., on Sunday, September 9, with kids (and some husbands!) in tow. They’ll visit the Prairie Home, enjoy a picnic lunch, hear the history of Funks Grove, explore the gem and mineral museum, visit Funks Farm and Timber Creek horse stables, climb atop combines and tractors, tour the cattle and grain farm, and end their day at the Sugar Grove Nature Center. We plan to keep this group of Field Moms engaged as alumnae in the coming years.
Farmtastic Food Trek
This high-tech scavenger hunt is underway! Encourage your urban and non-farm friends and family to visit www.watchusgrow.org and participate in Farmtastic Food Trek. They can go online to read official rules and find clues from farmers, then use Instagram® on their smartphone to snap pictures of the ‘answers’ accompanied by a family member, and tag them with #foodtrek. Qualifying entrants will be eligible to win prizes including $500 in free groceries, a farm tour, and farm games and toys. The contest runs through September 30.