The Normal CornBelters have two weeks under their “belts” and Illinois corn farmers have two weeks of corn farmer promotion behind them as well.
Now in the third year of our partnership, the Illinois Corn Marketing Board works with the Normal CornBelters to have an opportunity to reach non-farm audiences in Central Illinois. ICMB tests messages about corn, corn production, and corn farmers, also taking the opportunity to dispel myths about corn for those that are living in the middle of corn country.
As an example, one key message that you might see as you enter the stadium explains the difference between sweet corn and field corn to non-farm audiences. Though you may not have ever thought of it, many Americans are opposed to the idea of ethanol because they believe sweet corn is being used to make it, literally taking food right out of their mouths.
Another key message appears on the score board – just how big is an acre and how much corn can we grow on one acre? This visual information will help non-farmers qualify information when they later read how many chemicals farmers use per acre in the news. Without this outreach, CornBelters fans may have no idea just how large an acre is!
Throughout the rest of the season, Illinois Corn will continue to teach CornBelter audiences that family farmers are the norm in Illinois, that silks and tassels are the girl and boy parts of the plant, and that sweet corn is harvested and eaten when not yet fully mature. And these are just a handful of messages that every fan is exposed to!
To see more of your checkoff dollars at work educating the masses in Illinois, consider visiting the CornBelters stadium on a Sunday night throughout the season, when you can score 50 percent off a box seat just by showing your membership card! View the CornBelters schedule here.
The CornBelters have started their season at 11-4 and look forward to Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday night games in Rockford against the Rockford Aviators.