Iowa farmers have earned an accolade typically reserved for the world’s top athletes — or at least the top cartoon pitchmen.
Hy-Vee and Farm Credit Services of America are working together to put five Midwestern farmers on boxes of Hy-Vee-brand cereals.
The ad campaign kicked off in August and will grow as more Hy-Vee-brand cereals move to local stores. Hy-Vee operates 237 stores in eight Midwestern states.
The Iowa farmers profiled include Larry Bortz of Rudd, who will appear on Hy-Vee’s corn flakes, and Seth and Etta Smith of Nemaha, who will grace the front of Tasteeos.
“Consumer surveys show that Americans increasingly want a connection to the people who produce the food they eat. This campaign is a fun way to help consumers learn about area farmers who contribute to our safe, abundant food supply,” Judy Hartlieb, a Farm Credit Services spokeswoman, said.
The cereal boxes include a photo of the farmers or their families and point out that “nobody beats the American farmer when it comes to producing food.” They also direct consumers to the website agricultureworkshere.com to find out more about farming.
Hartlieb said Farm Credit Services, an Omaha-based financial cooperative, also will donate $5 to area food banks for every individual or group “spoon salute” that is posted on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #SpoonSalute. The group will donate up to $10,000 for salutes made through the end of 2014.
“These families represent the thousands of customer-owners with whom we work,” Hartlieb said. “We’re proud to call attention to the contributions they make to agriculture and American life.”