Alabama agriculture and forestry organizations are launching Down to Earth: Agriculture Sustains Alabama — a yearlong campaign promoting conservation techniques farmers and landowners practice across the state.
Through farmer-led discussion, Down to Earth will show sustainability isn’t just a buzzword gaining momentum as regulations trickle down from Washington, D.C.
It’s a mindset farmers have implemented for years while fueling their farms, families and communities.
“No one is more invested in sustaining the environment, the economy and our communities than farmers,” said Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell, a Chilton County farmer. “We are proud to partner with other agriculture and forestry organizations through Down to Earth in educating students and adults about how farmers work to provide safe and abundant food and fiber for generations to come.”
Down to Earth will cover six topics through March 2023 — carbon emissions, animal and plant efficiency, data and technology, conserving natural resources, smart land use and sustaining for the future. The goal is to reach at least 1 million consumers with Down to Earth messages centered on sustainability.
A team of farmer-spokespeople representing various commodities, counties and backgrounds will spread the Down to Earth message via personal social media channels, interviews with media and features in partner publications such as Neighbors magazine. Additionally, Simply Southern TV will feature Ask a Farmer segments focused on each topic.
Down to Earth partners include the Alabama Agribusiness Council, Alabama Association of RC&D Councils, Alabama Cattlemen’s Association (ACA), Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries, Alabama Farmers Federation, Alabama Forestry Commission, Alabama Poultry & Egg Association (APEA) and Sweet Grown Alabama. Additional funding is provided by a growing slate of sponsors.
“As farmers and ranchers, we have an incredible story to tell,” said ACA’s Kayla Greer, who co-chairs the Down to Earth planning committee with APEA’s Caleb Hicks. “Our goal is to amplify that message, and that is exactly what Down to Earth is designed to do.”
The Down to Earth campaign includes a fact-packed website at DowntoEarthAL.com, social media advertisements, events and bimonthly press releases. FFA groups, 4-H clubs and civic organizations will help share Down to Earth’s sustainability message. Down to Earth was also Alabama Farm-City’s 2021 theme. Winning posters, essays and multimedia presentations will be honored during the Alabama Farm-City Awards Luncheon in Birmingham April 7.
Down to Earth: Agriculture Sustains Alabama debuts March 31 during a kickoff event from 4-6:30 p.m. at the Pike Road Agriculture, Recreation and Performing Arts Center. The event features family friendly farm-related activities and displays, food and media competitions.
Interact with Down to Earth on social media by searching @DowntoEarthAL.