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Corn+Soybean Digest

NCGA’s Farmer To Farmer Helps Growers Fight Biotech Bans

To ensure growers have choices when they plant, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is using Farmer to Farmer to target areas outside of the Corn Belt that may be against the use of biotechnology.

NCGA has begun using Google Adwords, which allows NCGA to place ads when people search for biotechnology-related topics on the Google search engine ( For example, if someone in the target market searches for “biotech corn,” an ad for Farmer to Farmer with a link taking people to the NCGA Web site appears on the right side of the page.

NCGA is targeting two markets in particular with the Google Adwords campaign: California and Hawaii.

“This is an innovative way for NCGA to reach audiences we may not otherwise be able to reach,” says Martin Barbre, chairman of NCGA’s Biotechnology Working Group. “NCGA wants to ensure all farmers have the technology choices at hand when planting. We must educate as many people as possible about the truths about biotechnology, and Farmer to Farmer provides an outlet for that process.”

California legislators are taking a step forward in protecting farmers’ right to planting choices by introducing legislation that would not allow any more bans on biotech crops. The proposed law is in response to five counties that have passed local laws banning biotech crops. Marin, Mendocino, Santa Cruz and Trinity counties would be able to keep their bans in place. In this case, Farmer to Farmer allows growers to reinforce the messages produced by the pro-biotech backers.

Earlier this year, the Hawaii legislature considered a bill that would place a five-year ban on biotech taro and coffee. Barbre says this is a good example of when growers need to push messages to make sure biotech is portrayed accurately.

Farmer to Farmer provides useful information on the facts about biotechnology and gives growers the tools to inform government officials at all levels about biotechnology. Farmer to Farmer also teaches growers how to respond to biotech criticism.

Farmer to Farmer contains five subject areas: Coexistence, Economics, Environment, Resources and Safety. Each section provides up-to-date facts on biotechnology and ways biotechnology benefits society. Links to pertinent studies highlighting biotechnology are provided as well. Four NCGA members contributed testimonials about coexistence and economics.

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