With the help of valued industry partners including Syngenta and Monsanto, the Illinois Corn Marketing Board participated in the inaugural year of the City Produce Project in 2010. Now we’re back with nearly two dozen more Illinois farmers that will be growing sweet corn on their farms to donate to underprivileged families around the state.
The City Produce Project worked to positively impact the growing problem of poor eating habits, food insecurity, obesity, and diabetes by providing fresh, locally grown vegetables and nutrition education to low income communities. As an extension, Illinois corn farmers also used sweet corn seed generously provided through partner seed companies to support their local food pantries, soup kitchens, or other food outreach organizations.
In its 2010 pilot year, approximately 75,000 pounds of produce, including several tons of sweet corn, were distributed to inner city sites in urban food deserts where recipients accessed the produce through local pantries and enrolled in nutrition education programs to learn how to effectively use the fresh vegetables in their diets. It was a very successful beginning.
Specifically regarding the sweet corn component, 22 corn farmers received and planted the sweet corn seed donated by the partnering seed companies. A few of the crops were devastated by the early season rains, but the majority yielded a very successful harvest. The participating farmers reported great personal satisfaction in their experience, relaying stories about gaining a new understanding of the food needs in their communities. The sweet corn harvest also allowed for several facets of the local area to work together, introducing agriculture and corn to their conversations.
Recipients of the Chicago-area fresh produce overwhelming reported that the sweet corn component was the most valuable contribution to their family.
ICGA/ICMB Communications Director
Lou is a father, grandfather, husband and business partner. He participates in all aspects of their family farming operation and he can’t wait to share his story with you!
If you have questions for Lou about his life on the farm, leave them in the comments!
Donna is a mother, grandmother, wife and business partner. She participates in all aspects of their family farming operation and she can’t wait to share her story with you!
If you have questions for Donna about her life on the farm, her experience as a farm wife, or her interest in talking to others about agriculture, leave them in the comments!
We haven’t talked much about it, if at all, but the Illinois Corn Marketing Board is part of a group of Illinois commodity groups that are trying harder to connect with our urban cousins. We’ve been conducting research for a while about what non-farmers think of us and what they’d like to know more about. We found out things about the way we talk with non-farmers (we get too technical most often) and what they’d like to know more about (namely, they’d like to know US and feel like they can trust us).
And now we’re doing something about it.
The Illinois Corn Marketing Board, the Illinois Beef Association, the Illinois Farm Bureau, the Illinois Pork Producers Association, and the Illinois Soybean Association – who represent probably every farmer in Illinois among the six of us – have come together to reconnect with consumers. And we’re calling ourselves “Illinois Farm Families.” Because that’s who we are and we’re proud of it!
First, check us out at www.watchusgrow.org. We’ve got a blog there for urbanites to read more about what we do and we’re inviting “Field Moms” to apply to visit several farms and video and blog about their experiences.
Second, if you’re a farmer that wants to get involved, let us know. There are multiple opportunities for you to connect with your customer and we’d love to help you find just the right fit.
ICGA/ICMB Marketing Director
You may remember seeing Bill before, but now you can truly meet him and find out what makes him tick! Bill is currently serving as Vice Chairman for the Illinois Corn Marketing Board but he has so many interests besides just corn! Geneology, livestock, grapes and wine … you’ll probably find that you and Bill have something in common too!
Congratulations to Kyle Rak, who wins the IL Corn prize package we mentioned last week! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize, Kyle.
And now IL Corn is happy to introduce another Illinois corn farmer, Kent Kleinschmidt!
What’s one thing you were surprised to learn from this video?
Welcome to Photo Week on Corn Corps! To celebrate National Photography Month, we’re bringing you one photo every day this week that celebrates Illinois agriculture, corn production, and farm family life!
Welcome to our newest Illinois Corn Growers Association District II Director, Aron Carlson! Aron and his five year old daughter enjoy working on the farm, raising corn and soybeans in Northern Illinois. When Aron isn’t farming, he enjoys golfing and he looks forward to learning more about farm policy during his tenure on the ICGA Board of Directors!
Get to know more about Illinois farmers, their families, and their crops by checking out the Illinois Farm Families website!
Welcome to Photo Week on Corn Corps! To celebrate National Photography Month, we’re bringing you one photo every day this week that celebrates Illinois agriculture, corn production, and farm family life! We will still have our Friday Farm Photo so if you have a great picture you’d like to see there, send it to email@example.com.
In recent years, Illinois corn farmers have told us that public education and communications back to non-farm consumers is a priority. Illinois corn farmers want to be understood; they want non-farmers to know that they are hard-working, family men and women that grow food with pride. Illinois Corn’s venture into the world of NASCAR is doing just that, talking about ethanol and the farmers that are fueling the ethanol industry on a national stage.
Here, Scott Stirling represents Illinois Corn Marketing Board at the debut of the American Ethanol promotion at Daytona.
IL Corn wants you to know more about our farmers and we are making an effort to introduce them to you. Get to know Eric Kunzeman, the Illinois Corn Growers Association District 8 Director and enter to win an Illinois Corn prize package!
Leave a comment telling us what you think about the video or tell us what else you’d like to know about Eric! Curious about biotechnology? Want to understand more about his pig farm? Wonder how he manages a day job and a farm too? Any comment will enter you to win!
Contest ends Wednesday, May 25.
NASCAR and American Ethanol are natural partners: NASCAR is a great American sport founded on the sands of Daytona Beach more than 60 years ago, and American Ethanol is produced on family owned farms across our country’s heartland. It’s truly a winning combination.
American Ethanol is the name given to a coalition of groups, lead by Growth Energy and supported by the National Corn Growers Association and many of its member states including the Illinois Corn Marketing Board. The partnership between American Ethanol gives corn farmers the opportunity to showcase their product to a national audience and it was one that they simply couldn’t overlook.
- By using American Ethanol, NASCAR will demonstrate ethanol’s superior performance not only to the NASCAR audience, but to the broader public as well.
- A 15% blend of ethanol uses 50% more homegrown fuel than the current E10 standard blend in the U.S. NASCAR is leading by example by utilizing Sunoco Green E15 race fuel, showing that American ethanol-blended fuel works.
- NASCAR is going green. And ethanol is the only commercially viable alternative to gasoline. We are honored to partner with NASCAR to show Americans that ethanol is clean, green and homegrown.
- For the first time ever, starting in 2011 in Daytona, the NASCAR Green Flag will be branded with American Ethanol, representing the continued efforts of NASCAR and its commitment to environmental responsibility.
- Also premiering in 2011, every lap of every NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will be fueled by Sunoco Green E15 -– a fuel that includes 15% renewable American Ethanol, which is produced from corn grown and harvested on family farms across our country.
- NASCAR fans will see the same great racing they have come to expect, but powered with a new, greener fuel.
What’s interesting and even more powerful is that while American Ethanol and NASCAR talk about E15 on a national stage, Illinois Corn continues to support the movement here at home with a partnership with Kenny Wallace and an opportunity for you to become part of the Family Farmers High Performance Team on June 4.
The two programs are separate, but integrated. One is introducing ethanol as a green, clean, homegrown fuel to audiences in the south and on the coasts that Midwestern farmers struggled to reach, while the other teaches about the family farmers behind that ethanol.
Watch and learn more!