S.D. Corn Growers Launch Campaign

Kernels of Truth effort to tackle food versus fuel debate surrounding ethanol.

The South Dakota Corn Utilization Council has launched Kernels of Truth, a statewide information and consumer education campaign.

The campaign is intended to reach consumers, retailers, and media throughout the state about the positive effect corn has on South Dakota's economy.

"We have been taking some heat for the rise in food costs, and consumers need to understand corn's role in the overall food industry and its correlation to food prices," says Jerry Rubendall, president of the South Dakota Corn Utilization. "The Kernels of Truth information program will educate consumers with facts regarding the relationship between corn prices and food prices at the supermarket and fuel costs at the pump."

Main message
The council hopes to get across the message that higher corn prices are responsible for higher food prices.

Only 19 cents of every food dollar is attributed to the actual cost of food inputs such as grains and oilseeds, Rubendall notes. The remaining 81 cents includes labor, transportation, packaging, marketing and energy costs.

Numerous studies show that corn prices have minimal impact on the prices consumers pay for food products, he says.

The group will also make the case that ethanol has also been good for the state's livestock industry because of the distillers grains that are produced as a byproduct.

"We're asking the media and all South Dakotans to realize the positive role increased corn production is playing in our state. It's an important story that needs to be told."

To learn more about the Kernels of Truth information and education program, visit the website at www.sdcorn.org, contact the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council, (605.334.0100) or e-mail [email protected].

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