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Corn producers launch 'Sustaining Innovation' campaign


Building off a campaign conducted in Washington, D.C., by several state corn organizations, the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Corn Growers Association have launched a campaign in Nebraska to promote some of the positive aspects of farming today.

Some of the positive messages include the fact that American farmers have slashed the fertilizer needed to grow a bushel of corn by 36 percent in the last three decades and that farmers have cut erosion 44 percent in the last two decades.

"Farmers are also growing five times more corn today than they did in the 1930s but we're doing so on 20 percent less land," said Jon Holzfaster, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board. "Farmers have always and will continue to adapt and improve how they farm. We felt it was important to let the people of Nebraska know."

Holzfaster said the campaign comes in response to some negative messages about corn production and, in part, corn-based ethanol, that have surfaced over the last year. "It got to a point that we felt some facts about farming today needed to be told," he said.

The campaign is known as "Sustaining Innovation" because farmers are incredibly innovative and have continuously improved their productivity since humans first placed a seed in the soil. "We strive to do a better job in every row, on every acre, on every farm, every season," Holzfaster said.

Brandon Hunnicutt, president of the Nebraska Corn Growers and a farmer from Giltner, said, "By increasing our productivity and producing more with less land, less fertilizer and less chemicals, farmers are feeding more people and are more sustainable today than at any point in history."

The campaign began this month and will run through the rest of the year. It includes radio and print advertising in select media outlets plus other activities.

"We've also decked out some delivery trucks in Lincoln with our messages and will keep them on the streets through the end of the year," Hunnicutt said. "They'll help keep our messages visible to people visiting Lincoln for the State Fair, Husker football and the Christmas shopping season."

The radio spots, ads and images of the trucks are available on a special web page that can be reached through www.NebraskaCorn.org or www.NeCGA.org. A Sustaining Innovation button on both corn websites take visitors to the special page where additional facts and figures are available.

The Nebraska Corn Board is a self-help program, funded and managed by Nebraska corn farmers. Producers invest in the program at a rate of 1/4 of a cent per bushel of corn sold. Nebraska corn checkoff funds are invested in programs of market development, research and education.

The Nebraska Corn Growers Association is a grassroots commodity organization that works to enhance the profitability of corn producers. Now in its 36th year of service to its members, NeCGA has more than 2,000 dues paying members in Nebraska. NeCGA is affiliated with the NCGA, which has more than 35,000 dues paying members nationwide.

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