Today in Springfield, Marty Marr, Illinois Corn Growers Association District 10 Board member, represented ICGA at a National Agriculture Day event held in Springfield at the BRANDT headquarters office building. Marr joined other representatives of Illinois farm groups in celebrating agriculture. Marr was joined in representing IL Corn by former ICGA and National Corn Growers Association President, Leon Corzine (Assumption). Other ICGA leaders were doing similar work in Washington, DC, including attending a panel discussion on important ag issues held on Capitol Hill.
In his comments, Marr said, “The relationship between farmers and everyone else is more important than ever. The role we play is often out of sight and out of mind, and for the most part, that’s okay.
“Increasingly, however, some people want to know more about where their food comes from, what farmers do, and who farmers really are.
“There is a growing interest in farm-ING…the methodology of what we do. The choices we make. The practices we use. We should be prepared to answer those questions and have that dialogue.
“That’s why a day like National Agriculture Day is important. It should not be about farmers talking to other farmers, or farm organizations talking to other farm organizations.
“It should be a day where we remind ourselves to open up a dialogue with non-farmers about who we are and what we do. It’s not about educating, it’s about conversations. It’s not about a monologue. It’s about a dialogue.
“Here are some points that we’re proud to share about corn farmers when we do have those conversations. After all, we know that Illinois corn farmers grow Illinois.
• America's corn farmers exported $7.6 billion worth of corn in 2014—one of the few U.S. products with a trade surplus
• 99% of all corn farms in America are family owned
• America's corn farmers have cut soil erosion 67% with cutting-edge innovative conservation methods
• The land required to grow a bushel of corn has decreased by 30%.
• Corn farmers have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 36% thanks to new technological advances in farming practices
“Like I said, Illinois corn farmers grow Illinois. And that’s a conversation worth having.”