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Initiative educates consumers

The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff program, in partnership with Illinois Farm Families, is proud to give $3,000 worth of ground pork to the Northern Illinois Food Bank through The Are educational initiative.

The Acre is an interactive webpage hosted on It focuses on specific issues surrounding soybean production, including genetically modified organisms (GMOs), sustainability, animal care and exports. A different Illinois soybean farmer walks users through each issue during the course of the growing season. Each farmer showcases how he or she makes different choices with farm practices- just like consumers can make a variety of choices in the grocery store.

Every click on the graphic or share on Facebook raised $1 worth of ground pork for food banks in the Chicago area, up to $3,000. Ground pork fills a need for high quality protein offerings at food banks serving local residents. Soybean and pig farmers work together every day to produce this source of high quality protein, with pigs eating 74 percent of the soybean meal fed in Illinois.

"Most Illinois consumers probably don't think about how their food is grown or where it comes from," says Sharon Covert, a mom, retired nurse and ISA district director from Tiskilwa, Ill., featured on The Acre. "We want consumers to know that behind the meat counter or in the cereal aisle, an Illinois soybean farmer might have helped get that product there."

With constant access to information, ISA wants to ensure consumers get soybean and food facts straight from the source

"Consumers are interested in issues like sustainability and GMOs. They have questions. Through The Acre, we give them an up-close look at Illinois farmers and farming practices - and support Chicago food banks along the way," says Covert.

The ground pork contribution was made possible with the help of Pork Power, the Illinois Pork Producers Association program that provides protein to local food depositories.

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