Illinois Farm Families ‘We are the 96%’ Campaign Ad Wins National Award

Apr 29, 2024  |  Today's News |  ICMB |  Public Outreach

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Illinois Farm Families (IFF) coalition won a Best of Show award in the consumer category last week at the National Agri-Marketing Association 2024 AgriMarketing Conference in Kansas City. The Best of NAMA awards program honors the best of the best work in ag communications; companies and agencies must first qualify through regional competition to advance to the national level.


The Best of Show award was given for a 30-second commercial first aired during the Super Bowl 2023 as the official kickoff of the We Are the 96% campaign produced by IFF. The commercial titled “The Corporation,” features Illinois farmer Chad Bell and his family. The video juxtaposes the family farm against a typical corporation, giving Bell’s 7-year-old son the title of “Procurement” and the family dog the position of “Human Resources.”

“There’s a big misconception in agriculture that the family farm is gone and everything now is corporate farming and things aren’t the way it used to be,” said Bell, a sixth-generation farmer who, along with his family, raises pigs, corn, soybeans, hay and wheat on their Viola farm. “Yes, farming has changed. Farms have gotten larger and there are fewer farmers, but in the end, the vast majority of farms – 96 percent of farms in Illinois – are still made up of families, even if they look a little different today.”


The We Are the 96% campaign featured 25 farm families from across Illinois doing the things that families do – mentoring their kids, teaching new skills, going to work, and coming home – but in a rural Illinois setting. The campaign's goal is to help people not involved in agriculture understand that most farms are run by families that aren’t that different from their own.


“We’re very honored to have been part of this campaign,” said Bell. “I’m really happy to be somebody who can help promote Illinois farm families through this campaign and on social media to help others realize that we are the family farm and we’re still alive and kicking.” Bell shares his passion for his everyday life on the farm on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.


Illinois farmers from six different commodity groups and ag associations pool their dollars to engage with the non-farm audience in Illinois. The We Are the 96% campaign is one example of this important work, but IFF coordinates many other programs in Chicago, hoping to build trust in farmers and their farming practices.


“Consumer opinions and impressions of farmers and our entire industry are critical to all the work that we do,” said Jon Rosenstiel, Chairman of the IL Corn Marketing Board. “Corn farmers are contributing checkoff dollars and asking us to invest them in ways that build up our industry and protect it for the future. Helping people who are removed from the farm understand what we are doing and why we are making the decisions we make for our soil and our animals pays dividends in nearly every other program of work we focus on. Congratulations to our IFF partners on this recognition of your hard work.”


IFF and the We Are the 96% campaign also won the following Best of NAMA awards:

  • First place - Consumer-facing social media for the We are the 96 social media campaign
  • First place - Consumer-facing ad element category for the “The Corporation” TV spot
  • Merit award - Consumer-facing website category for the website presence
  • Merit award - Public relations audio/video feature or testimonial category for the We are the 96 behind-the-scenes video


IFF thanks our agency partner MorganMyers for bringing the passion and authenticity of Illinois family farmers to life.


Illinois Farm Families is a coalition of the Illinois Beef Association, IL Corn, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Soybean Association, and Midwest Dairy. Their strategic mission is to increase consumer confidence in Illinois farmers and their farming practices by connecting shared values and enhancing understanding of agriculture.


The National Agri-Marketing Association is the premier organization for agri-marketing professionals, providing education and insights that position NAMA’s 3,500 members for success and equip them to deliver greater value for their companies and employers in a rapidly changing world.




About the IL Corn Marketing Board

The IL Corn Marketing Board was established in 1982 to manage the voluntary checkoff investment that corn farmers in the state agreed to implement that year. The farmers that serve on the board are elected by their peers to serve unpaid three-year terms. These ICMB farmer leaders strategically invest Illinois corn checkoff dollars to grow demand, create new markets, and foster understanding of corn farmers and the corn industry, which is Illinois’ highest valued agricultural commodity. Find out more about ICMB at and the family farmers who contribute to the checkoff at