Saturday, May 16, 2009

Farmers, agribusiness trade groups start public-relations effort aimed at urban journalists

Several agricultural commodity groups, citing what they call "misinformation campaigns about food prices and renewable fuels," have formed The Hand that Feeds U.S., which calls itself "an educational resource for urban media on the importance of U.S. agriculture to the security and future of our country." Its initial news release said "America's farmers are extending an olive branch to the same urban media that have often been critical of agriculture."

The effort is a project of, which calls itself "a coalition of farmers and commodity groups." Groups involved in the effort include the Agricultural Retailers Association, the American Sugar Alliance, Bushmills Ethanol, the Crop Insurance Professionals Association, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, the Southwest Council of Agribusiness, the Texas Corn Producers Board, Texas Grain Sorghum Producers, the Texas Peanut Producers Board and the USA Rice Federation.

"It makes no sense that we're being demonized in many of the nation's top media markets," Texas rice grower Linda Raun said in the release. "It's not the journalists' fault. "We haven't done a good enough job telling them our story." (Read more)

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