Happy Ag Day

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

From the Illinois Farm Bureau

Farmers Say “Cheese” During National Ag Week
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Traditionally, farmers spend National Agriculture Week, March 13-19, talking about how the crops and animals they raise are turned into food, fuel, and everyday products like plastic cups. They call it “telling the field-to-fork story.” This year, farmers are letting family photos tell their tale instead.

Illinois farm families are using National Agriculture Week as a time to improve lines of communication with their city cousins. “When a mom has a better understanding of the different ways that real farmers raise crops and animals, she can make more informed personal choices about the food she puts on her family’s plates,” said Illinois Farm Bureau’s Steve Simms.

Different farmers use different farming styles. This diversity doesn’t mean one farmer cares more than another. After all, farmers eat the same food, drink the same water, and live on the same earth as non-farmers do. Of course they care. The variety of farming methods means a good variety of food choices, though. The more shoppers know the true facts, the more confident they can feel knowing that they don’t have to choose price over nutrition or convenience over safety.

“The first step to an honest dialogue between consumers and farmers is making the introductions,” continued Simms. “That’s why we’re asking farmers across the state to share their family portraits online. It’s almost impossible for people to meet the men and women who grow their food, but thanks to websites like Facebook, anyone can meet a real-life farmer online, ask questions, and get answers right from the horse’s mouth.”

Starting this week, the Illinois Farm Families coalition is encouraging farmers to upload their photos to the free website www.flickr.com and share them with the Flickr group called “Illinois Farm Families.” All Illinois residents are also encouraged to join Flickr and search for “Illinois Farm Families.” For tips and tricks to using social networking sites like Flickr, visit www.ilfb.org/social.

“Family farms make up 94% of the farms in Illinois,” said Simms. “National Agriculture Week is not only a good time to celebrate their hard work, but it’s also an ideal time to meet them.”

Illinois Farm Families is a coalition of grassroots members from Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Illinois Farm Bureau and Illinois Pork Producers Association. This group of united farmers is dedicated to improving two-way dialogue with Illinois consumers.


lisa said...

We only have a very small farm, but nothing beats raising your vegetables, meat and eggs. That is why we do it because I really hate to go to the store and buy it! Someday I might get brave and milk my own cow for our milk, but I am not to that point yet.