After the campaign ended, a follow-up survey was conducted by the research firm and, Ferguson says, “Results were extremely strong. Almost 53 percent of the respondents recalled seeing the ads or billboards, and there was a significant increase of those with favorable opinions on the three issues in the campaign.”

Gant says, “We were told that a 30 recall for a campaign is very good, so we felt 53 percent was excellent.

“Before the campaign began, only 37 percent of those surveyed thought Americans spend a smaller percentage of their income on food than other countries. After the campaign, 49 percent agreed with that statement, a 12 percent change in perception. We were told beforehand if we could get a 4 percent to 5 percent change on any issue, we should be happy.”

Increases were also recorded for those who believe most farms in Mississippi are family farms, for those who have favorable opinions of farmers, and those who believe farmers are good stewards of the land — the latter increased by 28 percent.

“We feel this first effort has been tremendously successful,” Gant says, “and we hope to continue it in the years ahead.”

Although the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation provided seed money and in-kind services for the initial campaign, Gant notes that a number of other organizations and agribusiness companies contributed to the effort.

“Their support made it possible for us to have a more extensive campaign than we would have otherwise, and we’re grateful to them for making this a truly collaborative effort.”

Among the sponsors were Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association; Mississippi Corn, Soybean, Rice, and Peanut Promotion Boards; Cotton Incorporated; Mississippi Pork Producers Association; SUDIA (dairy check-off); Mississippi Beekeepers Association.

Mississippi Agricultural Industry Council; Mississippi Agricultural Industry Council; Mississippi Seedsmen’s Association; Mississippi Agricultural Consultants Association; Mississippi Agricultural Aviation Association; Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce.

Case IH; Pioneer; DuPont; Monsanto; BASF; Syngenta; RiceTec; Jimmy Sanders Inc.; Bayer CropScience; Farmers Grain Terminal; Producers Rice Mill; Horizon Ag Services; Mississippi Land Bank.