In the eight years that the Farm Families of Mississippi campaign has been telling agriculture’s story, several dozen of the state’s farmers have been featured in the outstanding TV spots produced by the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation’s communications staff.
The photography is beautiful, the messages succinct and effective. And it’s interesting to see the fine job that folks who are more at home in a cotton field, or a cow pasture, or on a tractor or combine, do before the cameras.
The 2107 campaign, “The Farm Families of Mississippi — Professionals from the Ground Up,” will launch in February. Here are a few of the messages from the men and women who are featured in the commercials.
• Billy Tabb: “Food grown here in America is the healthiest and the safest on the planet … Scientific research has developed crop varieties that require fewer pesticides, less acreage, and less water. That keeps my production costs down, and results in lower food costs for you.”
• Jeremy Jack: “Advances in biotechnology allow me to plant seeds that are healthier and require fewer inputs to help them grow. This technology has been used for more than 20 years and has been proven safe in a two-year study by the American Academy of Sciences. I’m committed to providing you with the safest products possible, while at the same time protecting the land for future generations.”
• Mike Smith: “My animals are one of the largest investments I have on my farm. I visit them every day to make sure they’re eating right and have plenty of fresh water. Keeping them in top condition is important, because a healthy animal means healthy food for my family and yours. I treat these cows right, not just because it’s the smart thing to do,” but because, says Anna-Michael Smith, “it’s the right thing to do.’
• Jamie Earp: “Mississippi has the perfect soils in and around Vardaman to raise sweet and delicious sweet potatoes; it’s the Sweet Potato Capital of the world. They’re the best in the country. They’re not only valued for their delicious taste, but a food high in fiber and nutrition. When are you going to try sweet potato fries?”
Others who appear in a video outlining the goals and accomplishments of the campaign are:
• Walt Rambo: “I think it’s very important that only 2 percent of America’s population is involved in everyday production agriculture. It’s our job to get the other 98 percent to understand where we’re coming from as producers — that we’re not only feeding our country, but enough additional to sell to other countries.
• Jessica Graves: “This campaign is very important for people who ride along the highways and see billboards, or watch TV commercials that tell the farmer’s story. Making it personal is very important for the transparency that we in agriculture need to be more proactive.”
• Walt Rambo: ‘This campaign plays a huge role in creating public awareness of what we as row crop, poultry, livestock, and aquaculture farmers do to provide a safe, clean, and reliable food source from our fields to their family tables.”
• Jessica Graves: “I’m a firm believer that we need to function more with a glass wall concept, with more transparency about what we do in agriculture. They just want to know what we do. Allowing people to make this connection is extremely important for the long term success of Farm Families of Mississippi and other educational opportunities.”
Mississippi has over 37,000 farms with over 10.9 million acres, plus 19.7 million acres of forest lands.