Promoting farmers' conservation efforts, raising awareness

Campaign encourages nonfarmers to learn more about farmers' work to improve sustainability.

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Clinton County Farm Bureau Director Mark Litteken of Aviston discusses his conservation practices on a video component of Illinois Farm Bureau’s new farmer image campaign. Nonfarmers are learning about Illinois farmers’ conservation efforts through the actions of several farmers across the state.

(Photos by Business Builders Marketing)

By Kay Shipman

Nonfarmers usually don’t see Illinois farmers’ conservation efforts. And when they do, they likely don’t realize how a practice protects the land and/or preserves water while helping farmers produce food.

Introducing “Farming for the Future,” Illinois Farm Bureau’s new farmer image campaign that shares farmers’ conservation actions. Visit

“We want to be able to tell farmers’ stories by sharing what our members are doing,” said Lauren Lurkins, IFB director of natural and environmental resources.

Launched in March, the promotion offers a series of brief videos featuring on-farm glimpses of Farm Bureau members across Illinois. To date, topics range from tree buffers for hog facilities to woodchip bioreactors to soil sampling. Additional topics and videos are planned, Lurkins noted.

Related: Tree buffers gaining popularity as an environmental practice on pig farms. Read more here.

Farmers’ efforts are being promoted on Facebook to target audiences, via YouTube and through commercials on cable television. Lurkins said the promotion may potentially reach 1.7 million to 3.3 million people through social media.

The videos and commercials encourage viewers to learn more about farmers’ conservation work by visiting the website.     

“Our members will likely not see this,” Lurkins said of the promotion, “but we want them to know what’s going on, on their behalf.”

IFB Director David Meiss of Gridley pointed out farmers are some of the quickest adopters of new ideas “because we want to do the best, and we live in the environment we farm in.”

Meiss noted the promotion shows that farmers aren’t averse to changes or new technology –- even though weather and other key factors are out of their control. “We take some risks we don’t necessarily want to because we want to do it better,” he said.  

“By nature, we are very good stewards,” Meiss said. “Farming is a lifelong event that spans generations.”

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