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Agrimarketing : April 2010
April 2010 Agri Marketing 33 and agribusiness organizations, partnered with Monsanto to spear- head the judging process. Five regional winners will be announced April 19, with each winning a $5,000 cash prize. Of these, one will be named Farm Mom of the Year the week before Mother 's Day, based on online voting on the America's Farmers web site, and win an additional $2,500. A CONTINUING EFFORT The America's Farmers campaign actually represents a continuation of numerous Monsanto-backed initia- tives to support and recognize U.S. farmers. For example, for the past five years, the company has partnered with the American Farm Bureau Federation as major sponsors of the weekly public television show, America's Heartland, which airs in 19 of the top 25 PBS markets across the country as well as RFD-TV. The series spotlights the contributions of America's farmers and ranchers in all 50 states. Monsanto also has a longstand- ing commitment to ag youth. "We know that the next generation of farmers will be the ones who will need to help feed the next three billion inhabitants of our planet, and, like their fathers and mothers before them, they will need to produce more with less," Craig Schilling says. "That is why we are committed to youth in agriculture, such as 4-H and FFA, providing scholarships and leadership opportunities to equip the agriculture leaders of tomorrow." More recently, the company began reaching out to opinion leaders in agriculture with an ad campaign promoting its commitment to help farmers produce more, conserve more and improve lives. The print and radio campaign ran in the Washington, D.C., area and was intended to influence policy makers on the benefits of modern agriculture and the positive contributions of U.S. farmers. This campaign is credited with creating a more favorable perception among both Democrat and Republican policy makers for biotech seeds as part of the solution to improve agriculture productivity. Monsanto is also a member of the "Field to Market" initiative, a diverse group of grower organizations, agribusinesses, food companies, economists and conservation groups focused on defining, measuring and improving food sustainability and fiber production. Field to Market is facilitated by the Keystone Center, a non-profit organization specializing in environment, energy and health policy collaboration. The company's commitment to sustainable agriculture is the under- pinning of its dedication to the American farmer. Monsanto is focused on enabling both small- holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy. "None of this is achieved without the farmer," Halton emphasizes. "It's the farmer who will actually double yields with reduced inputs, and the output of their efforts helps improve lives. We want to honor farmers for their commitment to the rest of us. That is why Monsanto is stepping forward to lend our support to help tell people about the success of U.S. agriculture." Based on the success of the campaign to date, Monsanto intends to sustain advocacy with continued communication and outreach efforts. "Focus groups with farmers reveal that they look to Monsanto to continue to be champions for agriculture," Halton explains. "Public perceptions won't change overnight and long-term efforts are needed." AM FEATURE STORY/continued from page 31
May 2010 Supplement