Alabama wheat and feed grain farmers hope to educate customers about the importance of their crops while dispelling myths through a new public relations campaign, “Grains of Truth.”“Grain crops, such as corn, wheat and oats, are vital to our economic growth, food security and energy independence,” said Alabama Farmers Federation State Wheat & Feed Grains Committee Chairman Stanley Walters of Marengo County. “In recent years, however, corn has been blamed for everything from high feed and food prices to childhood obesity. Through this campaign, we plan to show our fellow farmers and citizens that grain farmers can be valuable partners as we work to strengthen the economy, protect the environment and feed a growing world.”The Grains of Truth campaign will include colorful print ads, the GrainsOfTruth.net website and educational materials. Topics to be addressed through the promotion include the role of feed grains in supporting Alabama’s multi-billion-dollar livestock and poultry industries; the benefits of renewal fuels like ethanol; and the health benefits of grain-based foods.Corn is the most widely grown crop in the United States, with 12.4 billion bushels grown in 2010. Advanced technology has helped farmers double yields in the last 25 years, and that trend is expected to continue. The National Corn Growers Association estimates U.S. farmers will grow more than 17 billion bushels of corn on 83 million acres by 2020.This year, Alabama farmers planted 290,000 acres of corn, an increase of 20,000 acres over 2011. The state’s grain farmers also planted 220,000 acres of wheat and 50,000 acres of oats in 2012.
Through the “Grains of Truth” campaign, farmers hope to dispel the myth that grain production is managed by big corporations intent on driving up prices. In reality, 95 percent of all U.S. corn farms are family owned. In addition, the campaign will shed light on the fact that corn sweeteners are no higher in calories than any other sweetener and actually have made food more affordable for families. The campaign also will discuss how distillers grains, a byproduct of ethanol production, can be a nutritious and affordable livestock feed.To see more about the promotion, visit GrainsOfTruth.net.