Getting My Toes Corn

Tara Desmond

Mar 09, 2022  |  Today's News |  ICGA |  ICMB |  Public Outreach

Marketing has been my passion for almost 2 decades, creatively reaching audiences representing different products from real estate to restaurants to retirement financial products.  What I haven’t marketed yet is any sort of production agriculture, although landscaping is usually included as an ag industry. Here’s a little about my experience in the ag industry and my first 6 months.

picture of Marty Marr, Roger Sy and Tara Desmond at the IL Pork Expo


The People

Farmers are my people and that’s something I wouldn’t have said 6 months ago.  I’d describe them the same way I’d describe myself, self-motivated, passionate, born leaders, sometimes funny and darn good-looking.  If I say farmer, are you envisioning someone in overalls? That is what I used to see and now I see a person in a suit wearing many different hats.  Running a business as a sole proprietor on their own.  Building the future for their family or struggling to find affordable health insurance.  A person who I’d like to sit down and hear their story, a woman building grain bins or starting a flower side business. 


The Messages

Ag is the heartbeat of the world. If you’re like me, you don’t think about ag everyday (well now I do).  Even growing up next to corn fields, I visually and mentally have ignored ag, and specifically corn, the majority of my life.  What I’ve learned these last 6 months is we would not be here without Ag.  Corn isn’t just food.  Exports.  Ethanol.  Legislation.  Bioplastic.  Conservation.  These are all topics any staff member at IL Corn could talk about for hours and I’ve found to be endless opportunities for marketing.  Does the average person know about these items? I’d say no, because I didn’t.  Does the average person know that corn is with them everywhere and every day? No, and it may be corny but I’ve grown to appreciate corn.  If ag is the heartbeat, corn is the blood.


Again, the People

To say – I’ve felt at home at IL Corn is an understatement. I’ve been in toxic work environments, or maybe in the wrong job in the past.  I’ve dealt with ridiculous politics or decision makers who don’t make sense or make poor decisions. At IL Corn – The years of experience, knowledge and initiatives actually make a difference.  This organization isn’t out to make money but to help farmers.  Now, I’m marketing something that impacts the world.  Are my toes still wet? I’m diving in….to ag.