Educating the public and improving their trust in corn farmers and corn farming is important to the Illinois Corn Marketing Board. One of the ways we’re working toward this goal is our partnership with the Illinois Farm Families Coalition to bring influential Chicago moms to visit Illinois farms.
ICMB partners with the Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Pork Producers Association, and the Illinois Soybean Association, to make the IFF program possible. Building on the successes of last year, the plans for 2013 include at least twice as many moms and twice as many farm visits.
Former ICMB Chairwoman Donna Jeschke is working with the program again this year and will host the Chicago moms at her Mazon area farm later this year.
Illinois family farmers are opening their doors to give 20 urban and suburban Chicago-area moms a “peek inside the barn” to see for themselves how their food is grown. These moms will serve as Illinois Farm Families’ “Field Moms,” and will tour six Illinois farms between February and November this year for a firsthand look at what farmers do every day. The Field Moms will get to know the farmers and will have their questions answered as they visit beef, pork, canning vegetables, dairy and grain farms. The first tour will be of a pig farm this Saturday, Feb. 23, in Sycamore.
The 2013 Field Moms are:
Faten Abdallah, Rochelle
Amy Bizzarri, Chicago
Amy Buffardi, Darien
Teresa Buse, Streamwood
Kimberly Findlay, Chicago
Janelle Floerke, Orland Park
Susan Herold, Rolling Meadows
Renee Keats, Highland Park
Helen Kolodynski, Chicago
Christina Lee, La Grange Park
Diane Letson, Chicago
Becky Martinez, Glen Ellyn
Natasha Nicholes, Chicago
Amina Nevels, Chicago
Davita Nobles, Tinley Park
Elizabeth Rago, North Aurora
Tanja Saarinen, Oak Park
Jammie Esker Schaer, Elmhurst
Samantha Schultz, Indian Head Park
Alissa Spera, Chicago
“I want to see where my food comes from and share what I learn with others,” said Field Mom Becky Martinez. “With all the conflicting information about what foods to feed your family, I am looking forward to learning firsthand from the people who grow it.”
The Field Moms will each record their days on the farms by taking photos, videos and journaling their observations. After each farm tour, the Field Moms will share what they learned with other moms and consumers on www.WatchUsGrow.org, www.facebook.com/IllinoisFarmFamilies and http://twitter.com/ILFarmFamilies.
“These days, folks just don’t have the same connection to the farm that they did in years past which means that there are more questions about what farmers do and how they do it,” said farm mom Donna Jeschke of Mazon, Ill. “That’s why we’re so excited to welcome these moms onto our farms to show them what we do while answering their questions about how food gets from the farm to their tables.” Jeschke is one of several farm moms who will accompany the Field Moms on tours this year.
This is the second year for the Field Mom program which has been so successful, it has doubled in size. The Field Moms volunteer their time and were selected this month.
Illinois Farm Families are Illinois farmers who support Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Illinois Soybean Association, and Illinois Beef Association through farmer membership and checkoff programs. We are committed to having conversations with consumers, answering their questions about food, farmers and farming, and sharing what really happens on today’s Illinois family farms. More than 94 percent of Illinois farms are family owned and operated. We are passionate about showing consumers how we grow safe, healthy food for their families and ours.