For the last seven years, the Corn Farmers Coalition has been working in Washington, DC to change the minds of elected officials, thought leaders, and others in the beltway about who farmers really are and the innovative ways they are growing corn while minimizing their impact on the environment.
In 2015, the joint program of state corn grower organizations, including Illinois Corn Marketing Board, and the National Corn Growers Association was recognized for marketing effectiveness with the Summit International Platinum Award in the Public Service/Advocacy category. This award recognizes and rewards companies for innovative and leading-edge creative work that uses strategy and results-based effectiveness to create solutions in today's marketplace.
The award is especially welcome given that the group’s long and infamous history of dominating all the ads in various metro stations all over DC was not an option this year.
"We are honored to receive this prestigious award, particularly for the work done in the summer of 2015," said NCGA Senior Communications Manager Mark Lambert. "When we first heard that we would not be able to continue placing our work in DC Metro stations due to outside political circumstances, we grew concerned about our reach. Through the dedication of the team to creating a new, effective approach, we managed to continue reaching our nation's capital with messages about modern corn farmers and the advances they have made. This award serves as proof that, through hard work and flexibility, we can remain impactful no matter the challenges that we face."
Many Illinois farmers have been featured in this campaign over the years, including John and Sue Adams of Stanford, Scott and Connie Sterling of Martinton, Lou and Sue Lamoreux of Lanark, Grant and Logan Noland of Blue Mound, and Justin and Rachel Durdan of Utica.
The Corn Farmers Coalition builds awareness of the value of family corn farmers. The program, which is managed by a team of state corn communicators, was also selected for inclusion in the Smithsonian American History Museum's new American Enterprise Exhibit which opened in July. With nearly 40 million impressions with Capitol Hill elites in 2015, it serves as a constant reminder of the importance of agriculture to our nation's economy.