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FARM WOMEN ENGAGE WITH FOOD CONSUMERS IN AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
Source: Iowa Corn Growers and Iowa Soybean Association

In a uniquely mom-driven campaign, farm women from across the country are talking to other women about food production, food safety and farm life. Iowa is a pilot state for CommonGround, a joint project of the National Corn Growers Association and the United Soybean Board that showcases what farm families and the consumers of the food they grow have in common. The Iowa Corn Growers Association and Iowa Soybean Association are working together to coordinate the pilot project.

Iowa's three volunteer spokeswomen are Suzanne Shirbroun from Northeast IA, Jill Vander Veen of Northwest IA and Sara Ross of Southwest IA.

The Iowa outreach effort officially launched Saturday, Feb. 5, at West Lakes Hy-Vee in West Des Moines. The farm women talked to shoppers and answered questions about today's food production.

"We were asked very diverse questions by shoppers during our launch, and I'm impressed by the knowledge consumers have about their food, and their willingness to take a few moments from their day to ask questions," says Shirbroun.

Each of Iowa's spokeswomen will develop their own outreach program in their area of the state that will include social media, grocery store promotions, speaking to civic organizations and other events.

"The goal of the program is to share that, thanks to today's American farmers like us, consumers enjoy the safest, healthiest and most affordable food choices in the world," says Vander Veen.

"There is information reaching the consumer, but it's not always the whole story and farmers are concerned about that," says Ross. "We're not out to change anyone's mind about the food they eat, but we do want consumers to know the food we grow is safe."

The other pilot states are NE, SD, KY and IN. For more information about Iowa's CommonGround project, visit http://findourcommonground.com/.


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