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Saturday, June 9, 2012
Since you asked: How is Common Ground funded?
You all know I’m a volunteer for CommonGround, right? (CommonGround is a grassroots organization of volunteer farm women who share information about agriculture.)
Well, lately, CommonGround has been under attack on Facebook. Writers accuse CommonGround of being a front for corporate interests. Let me set the record straight. CommonGround is NOT funded by or influenced by any corporate interests – Monsanto or any other for-profit company.
So, who funds CommonGround?
America’s corn and soybean growers.
“The program is funded by the United Soybean Board (USB) and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). Each organization spends a portion of their checkoff funds on the program to educate consumers about where their food comes from, not tell them what to eat.”
What’s a checkoff?
Farmers from commodities, such as beef, dairy and eggs, soybean collectively invest a portion of their product revenue to fund research, education, and promotion efforts to increase the value of those commodities for farmers and consumers, alike. This collective investment is called a checkoff.
How do we get that done? Well, the farmer-leaders of USB and NCGA hired a team of agriculture communicators to keep us organized – these folks run the Facebook page and website, send out press releases and help arrange our speaking opportunities, and they give us tips to tell our stories of agriculture.
As a CommonGround volunteer, I can’t tell you what to eat or how food should be grown. I can, however, tell you how food IS grown on my farm, and other farms I’ve seen. I can put you in contact with farmers of all kinds – big, small, organic, conventional, vegetable, meat, grain…the list goes on and on.
CommonGround doesn’t take a position on issues, such as labeling of genetically modified foods. We only provide information. And the information I’m providing you with today is that we are NOT funded by OR influenced by Monsanto in any way, shape or form.