Tricia Braid

Jan 10, 2018  |  Today's News |  Public Outreach

IL Corn is a new partner with the CommonGround initiative. Initially a cooperative program between the United Soybean Board and National Corn Growers Association, CommonGround is now supported at the national level by NCGA alone with financial support from state corn associations and other state-level commodity groups who want to support local programming. Look for CommonGround programming in Illinois later this year.


For more than seven years, CommonGround volunteers have served as resources for consumers who have questions about how their food is grown. In a newly-released video, CommonGround Iowa volunteer Sara Ross shares her perspective on plant breeding innovation with the help of a fellow mom – and plant breeder – Jessie Alt.


“Plant breeding innovation will help us continue to be sustainable and improve on our sustainability so our sons can one day possibly step into the role of farmer on our family farm,” says Ross.


Changes in the earth’s climate, along with new pests and diseases can impact our food supply. For that reason, among others, farmers are focused on continuous improvement and new technologies that allow them to produce more with less. Plant breeding innovation is one example of the agricultural progress that has benefits for farmers, consumers, and the environment.


“Plant breeding innovation is about using our best technology to bring plants forward to help people grow better food,” explains plant breeder Jessie Alt.


In addition to the new video, CommonGround also released other new online resources to further explain plant breeding innovation and its impact on farmers and consumers.


“I understand that consumers have questions about what they’re feeding their families,” says Ross. “I want them to know that plant breeding innovation has so many benefits to farmers and to consumers. We want what’s best for the land and our families and consumers.”

CommonGround is a grassroots movement to foster conversation among women — on farms and in cities — about where our food comes from. The National Corn Growers Association, the United Soybean Board, and their state affiliates developed CommonGround to give farm women the opportunity to engage with consumers through a wide range of activities. For more information, visit