Shoppers at one lucky ValuMarket in Louisville recently found a new, straight-from-the-farm assortment in the produce section — the farmers themselves.

During the event, shoppers who care about safe and healthy food for their families and the farmers who are equally passionate about producing that food, connected for much-needed straight talk about modern agriculture.

Today, consumers are not only concerned about food prices, but there is growing concern about food production practices and many myths about modern agriculture. Through the CommonGround program, a collaborative effort involving the National Corn Growers Association, the United Soybean Board and affiliated state organizations, these organizations have partnered to reach out to Kentucky consumers.

Telling the story of their own operations, these women drive home the truth about U.S. agriculture. Through sharing their experience and hard data, consumers learn that thanks to modern American farmers, U.S. families enjoy the safest, healthiest and most affordable food choices in the world.

Ashley Reding, Carrie Divine, Corinne Kephart and Denise Jones, all Kentucky farm women, had mom-to-mom conversations about where food comes from for three hours on an early Saturday afternoon. Shoppers had the unique opportunity to get answers to their questions about food and farming straight from the women who produce it.

“The event was unique as it was held at a small local store where many shoppers were very concerned about buying from local farms,” said Reding. “I felt we really got through to people in explaining issues from how modern agriculture in the U.S. must can and must feed the world, on how we produce the steaks they were about to enjoy and on exactly what differentiates organics versus the benefits that are only perceived.”

To build upon this success, Kentucky will host an agricultural issues and media training seminar on Saturday, April 9 in Lexington. During this meeting, staff from participating CommonGround organizations will prepare additional Kentucky farm women, including operators, wives, moms, sisters and daughters, to connect with consumers while teaching them how to effectively tell their story, the true story of American agriculture.

The women involved in this program will share their experiences with consumers at local events such as the grocery store promotion, through speaking engagements and through social media.

To learn more about CommonGround, click here.