Lindsay Mitchell

Jul 23, 2014  |  Today's News

For the sixth summer in a row, corn and corn farmers have taken to Washington, DC, hoping to help legislators and their influencers on the Hill understand our nation’s largest crop.

Illinois Corn, along with corn associations from Maryland to Colorado, have joined together to form the Corn Farmers Coalition.  The group seeks to success stories from the family farm, eliminating some unfounded perceptions along the way.

Illinois corn farmers Grant Noland and Justin Durdan and their families are featured in the campaign.

“The 11 largest corn crops in U.S. history have been grown in the last 11 years by family farmers. Corn is incredibly versatile and our ability to grow it so successfully has made huge contributions to our economy and balance of trade,” said Grant Noland, an eight generation farmer from Blue Mound, Illinois. “When people hear of this increased productivity in conjunction with the rapid environmental improvements coming from farms like ours, it gives them an important perspective on one our most important industries.”

Although the campaign focuses on messages well-received in Washington, DC about growing export markets, increased sustainability, and effective use of technology, the underlying message is always one of families – often multi-generational families working the land that was passed down to them for generations.

The campaign formally began on July 1.  This ad, featuring both Illinois farmers being used in the campaign, is running this week in the National Journal.  Videos featuring both Illinois farmers are also available via electronic ad space and the Corn Farmers Coalition website.

"This direct outreach is putting a face on today's family farmers and raising overall awareness with legislators, leaders or governmental agencies from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Department of State, think tanks, lobbyists and environmental groups,” said Martin Barbre, National Corn Growers Association president and a family farmer from Carmi, Illinois.  “Awareness of the innovation, technology, and generations of accumulated knowledge on our farms today should be a part of our national dialogue about agriculture.”