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Farm American Project Celebrates Agriculture

img_7500.JPG Troy and Stacy Hadrick, Advocates for Agriculture, were recognized as BEEF magazine’s 2010 Trailblazers at the Cattle Industry Convention in Denver, CO, two weeks ago. Their enthusiasm for agriculture is contagious, and their passion for farmers and ranchers is evident, especially notable in their latest effort with Furniture Row racing and the Farm American Project. I met with the Hadricks in Denver, where they were visiting with folk about this fusion of NASCAR and food production. You’ve got to check out what these two have been up to!

There is a new face in NASCAR racing. The Farm American car is the first of its kind; it is a car that is not just about racing but starting a conversation about American farming and ranching and telling a story.

“The Farm American Project has several facets to it. The car ran at three Sprint Cup races in 2010, and will be on the NASCAR circuit again in 2011. But the project also involves development of a traveling interactive display that would be set up in the Fan Zone at every race. It would include having local farmers and ranchers there to share with consumers what they do, a real farmer’s market, farm machinery simulators and other great teaching tools,” Troy says.

Hadrick cites research documenting that this segment of the project has the potential to reach 33% of the American public every week.

“The Farm American Project is an unprecedented opportunity for farmers and ranchers to share their story with American consumers. Right now, we are trying to get the message out to our fellow producers that this project is going on. Once we get the word out, we are hoping that producers will start working with agri-businesses to help sponsor this project. It’s time for companies to partner up with us in a positive promotion like this one,” he adds.

A total of $22 million will be needed to cover a full year of the Farm American Project, considering all the components of the race, the traveling educational display and the promotions that would be running in all the Furniture Row stores across the country.

“We need to be proactive in our efforts to educate the consumer about domestic food production and the farmers and ranchers who grow it rather than being reactive to the latest inaccurate accusations from an anti-ag group. This project could reach nearly 200 million people. I'm hoping that once farmers and ranchers hear about this project, they will help spread the word to the agri-businesses they work with. Together, we can make this project a reality," he said.

As ranchers passed by the race car on display at the trade show at the convention, Pat Driscoll, with Furniture Row, added, "The car is the sizzle of this project, but the great thing is even if it crashes in lap one of the race, there are still great facets of this program that will continue to go on."

My sincere congratulations to the Hadricks on their BEEF Trailblazer Award, and cheers to them for this great project. To learn more about the Farm American Project, link here. Read more about the Hadricks by linking here.