May 22, 2009
A new U.S. organization known as "The Hand That Feeds US" has been formed to educate urban news reporters, answer agriculture's critics and explain why farmers and farm policy are so important to the nation's future.
The sugar, peanut, rice, cotton, corn, sorghum and ethanol industries have joined forces and have introduced their Web presence at www.thehandthatfeedsus.org
"We're the best farmers in the world, but we're far from being master communicators," said Andy Quinn, a Minnesota corn and ethanol producer. "For too long, we've let a handful of environmental extremists and coalitions, bankrolled by big business, define our industry in the news."
Linda Raun, a rice grower from Texas, is a spokeswoman for the campaign. She said producers haven't done a good enough job telling the media their story, which has led to agriculture being demonized in many of the nation's top media markets.