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Corn ads featured during summer months in D.C. metro stations

A trip through Washington, D.C.’s Union Station might help inform an urban consumer and national elected leadership about the value of corn. The Kansas Corn Commission is a founding partner in the Corn Farmers Coalition that aims to educate Washington, D.C. influencers.

For the fifth year, the Corn Farmers Coalition, an alliance of the National Corn Growers Association and 14 state corn associations, has established an ad campaign in one of the main walking paths of Washington, D.C., powerbrokers. The ads are placed at high-traffic locations inside Union Station, a central hub for the underground Metro system for the month of June and will move to the Capitol South stop in July. The campaign features a life-size family- and corn-friendly statistics.

Kansas Corn commissioner Ken McCauley and his multi-generation farm family of White Cloud are featured in some of the ads. The Corn Famers Coalition also has a digital ad campaign that is being placed in online publications including the National Journal, Congressional Quarterly and Roll Call, Politico.com, Hill.com and Washington Post.

Sue Schulte, director of communications for Kansas Corn, serves on the CFC steering committee.

“This is the fifth year of the Corn Farmers Coalition,” Schulte said. “Using images of farm families and simple, easy to remember facts, we have helped legislators and regulators understand how farmers are growing more corn with fewer resources using innovation and technology.”

The CFC works year-long to educate policymakers in Washington about how innovative farmers are growing more corn every year with fewer resources and while protecting the environment. These ads are designed to put a face on family farmers with images that are easy to understand. Statistics are from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency, hitting home for many agency staff and elected leaders.

“This effort has made a difference in how Washington, D.C., views corn farmers and farmers in general,” Schulte said. “I watched our first set of focus groups and they were not very positive about corn farmers. Three years later, I watched another set of focus groups, and they were much more positive, using words like innovation and productivity. They remembered our campaign and some of the facts as well. One participant said she saw the ads in a metro station and said, ‘Oh, the farmers are back!’”

Date: 7/1/2013

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