Real farm families, like the DeRocher family of Le Mars in northwest Iowa, will be featured in upcoming holiday broadcast messages designed to thank the American farmer.
"By featuring real, hardworking farm families like the DeRocher family, we hope to increase public awareness of all that American farmers do to provide us with food, clothing and energy," says John Raines, Monsanto's customer advocacy spokesman. "Thanksgiving is the perfect time to spotlight the real people behind the business of agriculture and to thank the DeRocher family, and farming families throughout Iowa and the United States for the work that they do. We want to showcase modern American agriculture through the perspectives of the people who live it every day."
Farmer families also featured in upcoming "webisode" series
The DeRochers' farm is featured in Monsanto's Thanksgiving television message and will also be featured in an upcoming webisode series, available for download and viewing on AmericasFarmers.com. This series will introduce viewers to several real farm families and tell their stories at key points throughout the farming season.
Another farm family featured in the webisodes is the Matthews family, from Carrollton, Mo. "Many people don't realize where their food comes from or how it gets to their table," says Melinda Matthews. "We are thankful for the opportunity to tell our story and to showcase that there is a lot more to the business of farming than what people see."
Travis Matthews adds, "We're appreciative that Monsanto is helping us show what we do. Many don't realize that people our age are out here doing this work."
Messages being broadcast on the side of downtown buildings
Monsanto will bring larger-than-life versions of its Thanksgiving television message and video to Des Moines during Thanksgiving week. They will be projected on the side of downtown buildings located along 6th Avenue and High Street. The Thanksgiving messages will begin running on network television and radio on Thanksgiving Day. The webisodes, featuring the DeRochers, Matthews and two other farm families, will begin in January.
In 1940, one U.S. farmer fed 19 people. Today, through advanced technology in seeds, equipment and processes, one U.S. farmer feeds 155 people. 18.5% of all corn and almost 15% of soybeans grown in the U.S. is produced in Iowa. Monsanto has created a video celebrating similar farming facts that highlight the vital contributions of the American farmer.
"In addition to thanking American farmers, the television message and video also celebrate the 24 million American jobs that farming supports each year," Raines says. "We are excited to share this message with Des Moines."