The Year of the Farmer

Posted: January 31, 2023

We Are the 96%

96% of Illinois farms are run by families.

That’s one of the distinct messages of a new Illinois Farm Families campaign being launched soon. Illinois agriculture groups have designated 2023 as the “Year of the Farmer” to promote this statistic.

The campaign hopes to debunk a consumer survey indicating people believe corporations run most farms and that families only run 47% of the Illinois farms they see.

The advertising campaign uses farm families throughout the state to help explain to consumers that they own and operate most of the farms. Illinois is home to more than 70,000 family farms. Some of these farms and families vary in size from small to large, but the fact is running these farms is their livelihood.

Another component of the campaign is to build trust among consumers. So when consumers go to the
grocery store they know most of their food is coming from family farmers.

One of the families being featured in the campaign is the Dan and Hattie Sanderson family of rural Clare, in central DeKalb County. The Sandersons operate a grain and livestock farm with their son, Trent and daughter, Rosie.

The campaign first airs on TV during the Super Bowl (Feb. 12) in several Illinois markets. It will run
in the Rockford market on FOX during the first half of the Super Bowl. It will also be aired via streaming services in the Chicago market in early February. The full campaign, with more TV ads, will launch in April and will run in every Illinois market.

The ag groups backing this campaign are: the Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Corn, Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Beef Association and Midwest Dairy.