Organization empowers farmers to tell their stories to consumers.
By Lacy Gallagher / Illustration by Kevin Davis
Across the country, a group of female farmers is jumpstarting candid conversations about food with other women who buy their families’ meals from grocery stores, farmers markets and restaurants. CommonGround, which began in 2010 with support from the United Soybean Board and National Corn Growers Association, has more than 180 women growers across 19 states who volunteer to help consumers sort through common concerns about food and farming. They do this through blog posts, videos and one-on-one meetings.
“CommonGround is a great organization that realized early on that no one can tell the farmer’s story quite as well as the farmer.”
“CommonGround is a great organization that realized early on that no one can tell the farmer’s story quite as well as the farmer,” says Jill Wheeler, head of Sustainable Productivity at Syngenta, North America. “Having real-world farmers at the table changes the entire conversation. It’s important to remember those interactions can be local, casual and impromptu.”
A lot of misinformation surrounding food stems from a lack of understanding about farming. The women of CommonGround share insight from their personal experiences and from proven scientific research to answer consumers’ questions.
How @CommonGroundNow is helping to change the conversation around food and farming. @SyngentaUS
“I think the fact that CommonGround is run by female volunteers—and women typically handle the bulk of the grocery shopping—helps the consumer feel like the conversations are ‘mom-to-mom’ about their children’s food,” says Liz Hunt, Syngenta Sustainable Solutions lead.
The Syngenta program provides growers and retailers with education and local recommendations to help them manage resistant weeds in their areas.
Thrive is a news magazine and website produced for a nationwide agricultural audience. Its purposes are to update readers on Syngenta products, services and solutions, and to provide them with the information they need to succeed in today's complex marketplace.
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