June 4, 2012
The nation's top crop and the farm families who grow it will return to the U.S. capital for the fourth year in a row as part of the Corn Farmers Coalition educational program that started June 1 at Union Station, an important venue for reaching policymakers inside "The Beltway."
Corn farmers from 14 states and the National Corn Growers Association are supporting the Corn Farmers Coalition (CFC) program to introduce a foundation of facts seen as essential to decision making, rather than directly influencing legislation and regulation.
This year, the Lonier family of Shady Lodge Farm, LLC, who have farmed in the Lansing area since 1876, was chosen to participate in the CFC campaign. Scott Lonier, his brother Steve and their father Jim currently farm nearly 3,000 acres of corn and soybeans throughout Grand Ledge, DeWitt and Lansing.
"CFC is targeting the eyes and ears of lawmakers, federal agencies and other influential audiences around Washington, D.C. so they understand that family corn farmers make a huge contribution to our nation and its economy," says Scott Lonier, who also serves as vice president of the Michigan Corn Growers Association. "Through this outreach we can share facts and information and help educate everyone about the importance and impact of today's farmers."
The Corn Farmers Coalition is launching its major advertising campaign by taking over every available ad space at Union Station. The effort will also put prominent facts about family farmers in Capitol Hill publications, radio, frequently used websites, and other Metro locations in June and July.
Direct outreach by farmers puts a face on today's family farmers and helps raise overall awareness with legislators, think tanks, lobbyists, environmental groups and governmental agencies -- from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Department of State. NCGA President Garry Niemeyer said awareness of the innovation, technology, and generations of accumulated knowledge on farms today should be a part of our national dialogue about agriculture.
"The response to the CFC's proactive efforts to educate key audiences in Washington has been extremely positive since its inception," says Niemeyer, an Illinois farmer. "As urban and suburban America gets further removed from the agricultural roots that made our nation strong, it becomes ever more important to reach out and maintain this connection."
The coalition will meet with media, members of Congress, environmental groups and others to talk about farming's bright future: how U.S. farmers, using the latest technologies, will continue to meet the demands of a growing population and how this productivity can be a bright spot in an otherwise struggling economy.
For more information, or to view the CFC ads, visit: www.cornfarmerscoalition.org.
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