Michigan's first "Free Groceries for a Year!" sweepstakes was so successful that Michigan Farmers Feed US is back with another opportunity for a Michigander to win a $5,000 gift card good toward filling grocery bags with locally grown and processed food and other meal staples. All contestants have to do is watch short online videos to learn about Michigan's caring farmers and the state's agricultural diversity.
Through Oct. 12, Michigan residents can go to http://www.farmersfeedus.org/mi/ to register to win and learn how local farmers produce safe, healthy and affordable food.
The Michigan Farmers Feed US sweepstakes showcases 10 Michigan farmers who, through their online videos, guide consumers through the simple registration process, dish out some agricultural trivia and open up their farms for a virtual tour. (Nine farmer videos are currently online. The tenth will be added soon.) Featured commodities include apples, beef, corn, dairy products, eggs, lamb, pork, vegetables, and soybeans.
"Michigan farmers are thrilled to once again offer free groceries for a year to the consumers of our great state," says Scott Oswalt, a Kalamazoo County sheep farmer who was featured in the first sweepstakes and is showcased again.
"This is our opportunity to show what we produce to Michigan consumers, and that we share their values of taking care of our families, land and animals, and giving back to our communities," says Oswalt. "As a fourth-generation farmer, I'm proud to raise food for your table as well as my own. I want to demonstrate to others how today's farms operate."
Contestants can register with each of the featured farmers daily through the end of the 90-day sweepstakes on Oct. 12. One winner will be randomly selected from all the registered contestants and announced in early November. The sweepstakes sponsors will determine the winner's preferred grocery store for the prize gift card.
The $5,000 prize value is based on research conducted by the Food Marketing Institute, which indicates $5,000, on average, will feed one adult for one year.
The agricultural commodity organizations sponsoring Michigan Farmers Feed US selected the farmers featured in the sweepstakes with the goal of showcasing farmers who represent Michigan's different "food groups" and farming regions. The 10 featured farmers are:
Jennifer Bixby, apple farmer, Berrien Springs, Berrien County
Jennifer Lewis, dairy farmer, Jonesville, Hillsdale County
Harry Herbruck, egg farmer, Saranac, Ionia County
Ed Cagney, soybean farmer, Scotts, Kalamazoo County
Scott Oswalt, sheep farmer, Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County
Annie Link, dairy farmer, Alto, Kent County
Bret Schapman, cattle farmer, Romeo, Macomb County
Clark Gerstacker, corn farmer, Midland County
Jason Ruhlig, vegetable farmer, Carleton, Monroe County
Erin Ehinger, hog farmer, Holland, Ottawa County
The Michigan Farmers Feed US program is supported by local farmers represented by the Michigan Ag Council, Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Michigan Pork Producers Association, Corn Marketing Program of Michigan, Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee and GreenStone Farm Credit Services.
"The contest sponsors understand the increasing interest people have in where food comes from and how it is grown," says Laura Moser on behalf of the Michigan Ag Council and Michigan Milk Producers Association, two of the sweepstakes sponsors. "Through the Farmers Feed US Campaign, we hope to provide a link between the farm and the consuming public. By visiting the website and registering for the sweepstakes, people can get a glimpse at Michigan's vibrant agriculture industry."
The Michigan Farmers Feed US program originated based on interest from the Michigan Ag Council and other agricultural organizations in coordinating a statewide effort to showcase how Michigan farmers produce safe, healthy and affordable food for consumers.
In 2009 Michigan became only the second state to implement the nationally based Farmers Feed US program on a state level. Last year, the first Michigan Farmers Feed US "Free Groceries for a Year!" contest awarded three winners each a $5,000 grocery store gift card.
To learn more, "like" Michigan Farmers Feed US on Facebook, follow Mich Farmers Feed US on Twitter at @MIFarmersFeedUS or visit http://www.farmersfeedus.org/mi.