Ag Coalition's Aim: Boost Farmer Image

Eight influential agricultural groups have joined forces to trumpet how farmers and U.S. farm policy benefit Americans. Compiled by staff

Published on: Sep 20, 2004

Eight influential agricultural groups have joined forces to trumpet how farmers and U.S. farm policy benefit Americans.

The organization, Home Grown, aims to demonstrate that:

  • U.S. farming families provide 92% of America's food and fiber;
  • the United States enjoys the world's most affordable food and fiber products; and
  • farmers need existing federal policy to continue providing these invaluable products.

"Home Grown is not just about farmers who grow wheat, cotton, rice or any other single commodity," says Mark Gage, president of the National Association of Wheat Growers. "With the full spectrum of agriculture involved, we will be 2 million unified voices sharing the stories of modern-day farming families and the benefits they provide to our country."

Texas farmer Dee Vaughan, president of the National Corn Growers Association, says this cooperation will make Home Grown's campaign successful.

"We want to make sure people have the right picture in their minds about farming and agriculture," Vaughan says. "They need to know that food in America is the most affordable in the world, thanks to a strong federal farm policy and the highly efficient way U.S. farmers work.

"Americans need to know that farmers are stewards of the environment and current federal policy encourages environmentally friendly farming techniques. They need to know the small contribution of taxpayer dollars--about 4 cents per meal--supports a food and fiber industry that employs more than 20 million Americans."

The six other groups involved in the formation of Home Grown, announced Monday, are: USA Rice Federation, US Rice Producers Association, American Sugar Alliance, United Soybean Board, American Farm Bureau Federation, and National Cotton Council.

Home Grown plans to conduct activities in the coming months in and around Washington, D.C. Members eventually plan to include other components, including: a program to educate schoolchildren in large cities; point-of-purchase educational materials; and a communications resource center for agricultural producers.

Home Grown welcomes corporate sponsorship and invites other groups to join in the effort to cultivate recognition and respect for America's farmers.