FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tricia Braid, ICMB 309-827-0912
Amy Roady, ISA 309-663-7692
Becky Frankenbach, MCMC, 573-893-4181
Dana Majden, Marquis Energy, 815-925-7300
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—A multi-state coalition of farmers and agribusiness announced today their promotional partnership with NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Kenny Wallace, who will serve as a spokesperson for Family Farmers and renewable fuels for the entire 2011 racing season.
The agreement also makes “Family Farmers” the primary sponsor of RAB Racing’s No. 09 Toyota Camry, driven by Kenny Wallace, at five races this season, with the first at Phoenix International Raceway on February 26th.
Participants in the Family Farmer coalition, to date, include the Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB), the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA), the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council (MCMC), and Marquis Energy.
“Kenny is the perfect spokesperson for family farmers. His passion for racing mirrors exactly the passion family farmers have for their work growing food, feed and fuel for their families and for all of America’s families,” said Scott Stirling, ICMB Chairman and a family farmer from Martinton, IL. “We’re honored to be part of this coalition on behalf of America’s family farmers.”
Doug Winter is a family farmer from Mill Shoals, Illinois, and ISA Secretary. “Illinois soybean farmers are proud to partner with Kenny and participate in the upcoming NASCAR season. This is a great opportunity to emphasize the connection between racing families and farm families,” Winter emphasized. “We look forward to Kenny talking about the connection between soybean farmers and livestock during several events this year.”
“We’re excited to have Kenny, a native Missourian, advocating for family farmers,” said Kevin Hurst, a farmer from Tarkio, MO, and MCMC Treasurer. “Family farmers play an important role my state’s economy, but as is the case across the country, many people are unaware that families still own and operate over 90% of farms.”
In addition to the farmer organizations involved, Marquis Energy, one of the Midwest’s leading producers of environmentally friendly energy, chose to join in the partnership with Wallace as a spokesperson for family farmers and renewable fuels, including ethanol. “With NASCAR’s decision to move to a 15 percent ethanol blend in all their races, the opportunity to have Kenny share our story with 75 million racing fans is incredible,” said Mark Marquis, President and CEO. “Ethanol is a great choice for healthier air, healthier economies, and stronger national security.
Wallace joins RAB Racing with Brack Maggard for the 2001 Nationwide Series season. He has competed in over 800 events in NASCAR’s top-three divisions, including 488 Nationwide Series starts with nine wins, 10 poles, 63 top-five and 159 top-10 finishes. In addition to his on-track accomplishments, Wallace is recognized as one of NASCAR’s most popular drivers and has been awarded the Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver award three times in 1991, 1994 and 2006.
“Getting to know the hard working family farmers of this country has been a fantastic experience for me,” Wallace said. “I’m so excited to be their spokesperson, sharing the truth about what they do and the products and food that are made from their crops.”
“The best part is that I’ve come to understand that our nation’s farmers are just like you and me. They want what’s best for their families, just like us. And like me as a NASCAR driver, they are responsible for their own work and take that responsibility very seriously. I’m humbled that they’ve chosen me to be their advocate with dedicated racing fans,” Wallace continued.