The Illinois Corn Marketing Board has rapidly incorporated the lessons learned from our consumer research into many of our activities and programs. One important area that we’ve put considerable effort into is our “board member profile” section of the website.
On www.ilcorn.org, our members and Illinois corn farmers can find a variety of things they need, including updates on legislative action, current events affecting Illinois farmers, and data and statistics on key issues like ethanol and free trade. But farmers may forget to look in some of the less conspicuous areas, specifically, the more consumer focused areas that definitely have some lessons to teach about how to interact with non-farmers.
Most recently, Illinois Corn staff have been working on video profiles of our board members. These snapshots into the lives of ordinary corn farmers in Illinois allow non-farmers a first-hand look at the sort of people growing their food and begin to dispel the myths that corn farmers are corporate giants with no connection to the land.
Click here to learn more about Donna Jeschke, District 5 Director on the Illinois Corn Marketing Board. Listen in her video for her comments establishing her long farming heritage, her direct contribution to the farm, and her use of the term “farm family.” All of these items establish her as someone that is very in touch with her land and knowledgeable about the farm. She also presents a message to other moms that women nurture crops and livestock like non-farm moms nurture families.
Click here to learn more about Lou Lamoreux, District 2 Director on the Illinois Corn Marketing Board. Listen to his comments about how farming isn’t about making money as much as it is about a connection to heritage and the earth. Non-farmers believe that most farmers are corporate farmers with no interest in the land or resources so this is an important message to convey.
You can meet more Illinois corn farmers on IL Corn’s youtube site at www.youtube.com/user/ilcorn. Though you may already know these farmers or at least, identify with what they are saying, listen critically to how they describe what they do.
Use the videos as a learning opportunity to better describe what you do and why you do it, your connection with the land and the animals in your care, and how you produce safe food for American families because it’s the right thing to do.