The average American farmer feeds 155 people each year, works 10 hours each day and receives less than $0.16 for every $1 consumers spend on food to pay for all that goes into running a farm. Yet, most consumers do not know much about the 2.6 million individuals who work on American farms.
Bayer CropScience's third annual #Thankful4Ag campaign, which runs from Sept. 24 to Oct. 31, aims to introduce consumers to our nation's hardworking farmers while also helping to feed the 48 million Americans struggling with food insecurity. The campaign invites consumers to discover the types of crops farmers grow with a fun, interactive quiz, all while acquainting them with real growers. In the following interview, Jeffrey Donald, external communications manager at Bayer, shares more about the #Thankful4Ag campaign.
What is #Thankful4Ag?
It is a national initiative that aims to educate consumers about the hard work farmers put in year-round to grow the food we eat daily, while also helping those in need, he explains. Today, ag and its innovations are facing challenges at the local, state and national level in large part because consumer misperceptions are driving public policies that don't support modern ag. However, what many people don't understand is the hard work and long hours the average grower puts in each day. This annual campaign is one additional way that Bayer works to tell the stories of America's farmers.
This year, for the first time, the campaign traveled to eight U.S. cities with Luke Bryan's seventh annual Farm Tour, sponsored by Bayer Corporation. Concert attendees had the opportunity to learn more about why they should be #Thankful4Ag and who they should thank: the farmers who feed, clothe and fuel us. Click here to listen to Luke Bryan share why he is #Thannkful4Ag in an online PSA.
How does this campaign highlight the faces of farming?
Thankful4Ag.com introduces digital profiles of real growers from across the country to share their stories. The site featured several faces of farming including Sara Ross, a soybean farmer from southwest Iowa. Sara's profile highlighted the realities of being a soybean grower from the seasonal challenges to the harvest successes.
How is Feeding America involved in the campaign?
American agriculture is one of the world's primary food suppliers, with $152.5 billion in agricultural exports during 2014, yet hunger continues to be a major problem. As a company that is committed to helping farmers provide food for a growing population, Bayer partnered with the Feeding America program to help provide meals to help families in need.
How does the ag industry get involved with #Thankful4Ag?
Farmers and ag professionals are encouraged to visit Thankful4Ag.com, take the "What type of farmer are you?" quiz and then share the campaign with their non-ag friends and family. Each time someone completed the quiz and shared the results, or used the hashtag #Thankful4Ag, Bayer donated $1, or 11 meals to Feeding America, up to 330,000 meals.
"I'm excited to share that because of the support from the ag industry and consumers alike, we were able to meet our goal and donated 330,000 meals to Feeding America," says Donald. "We are already looking forward to next year's #Thankful4Ag campaign, which will be even bigger and better."