Promoting Mississippi’s number one industry is the purpose of an advertising campaign sponsored by Farm Families of Mississippi, an organization made up of nearly 70 organizations, companies, and individuals interested in promoting Mississippi agriculture.

“This is our second year on the air,” said Donald Gant, a farmer from Bolivar County and chairman of the Farm Families of Mississippi Committee. “Last year we had a very positive response from the public to our ads and we educated a lot of people about the value of agriculture in their daily lives. We hope that this year will be just as successful.”

The campaign’s main messages are geared to inform the consumer about the following ideas:

• The affordability of food in America

• Farmers take care of their animals

• Buy local, read the label

• Farmers are good stewards of our land and water resources

The 2010 campaign was centered in the Jackson, Miss., media market and encompassed TV and radio spots, along with billboards and other promotions. In 2011, the campaign will expand to include the Gulf Coast media market.

There are over 42,000 farms in the state covering over 11 million acres. The economic impact to Mississippi is substantial — $6.88 billion in 2010.

“Data from the U.S. Census projects the world population to grow from 6.8 billion in 2010 to 9.2 billion by 2050. Farmers need to increase not decrease their ability to raise the food that feeds the world,” said Gant. “Farmers are the first link in the food quality and safety chain, and the measures they take to safeguard their products make the job easier for other links in the chain to maintain the integrity of the nation’s food supply.”

For more information about Farm Families of Mississippi, visit www.growingmississippi.org or email ffm@msfb.org.