Mike Geske farms in a unique area in southeast Missouri because it has such a diversity of crops including rice, wheat and corn, a crop Geske grows with pride. For many years, he has served on boards of both the Missouri Corn Growers Association and National Corn Growers Association and today represents Missouri Corn on the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) board. Geske is this week’s I AM USFRA spotlight.
“The corn organizations I represent realize consumers are very concerned about how their food is produced and whether it’s done in a sustainable manner. And they have all kinds of concerns they didn’t use to have even those who make a living discussing food,” says Geske. He notes that they aren’t always well informed yet they influence a lot of people. “So it became obvious to us we were going to have to get involved, not just within the corn industry, but that we were going to have to get involved with others in the ag industry to speak with one voice to these consumers. So that’s what we are doing.”
He adds that they almost have to ask permission to farm because key food influencers not only have a voice among consumers, but also government.
Geske says USFRA has some great programs including their consumer messaging research that helps growers learn how to and how not to talk to consumers. USFRA is taking this knowledge to the street and training those in the ag industry on the most effective ways to discuss ag and food with consumers. He also notes that they have several other great programs including the Faces of Farming and Ranching among others. Geske says that it’s important for the industry to continue speaking to consumers with one voice and encourages organizations to join the 90+ current members.
Learn more about Mike and his commitment to USFRA here: Interview with Mike Geske, Missouri farmer