A visit from Prince Farming

The Grain Farmers of Ontario turn to the masses by bringing a reality TV star to a farm.

The Grain Farmers of Ontario want to be a resource for Canadians curious about where their food comes from, so for the first time, it has enlisted a celebrity spokesperson to help tell its story.

The organization brought Chris Soules, former star of The Bachelor, to a farm in Smithsville, ON. Soules is also a grain farmer, and the video captures his first trip to Canada and discussions he has with a grain farmer about the value of agriculture, the importance of family farms and the increased benefits of new technology in farming.

The video will live online and on the “Good in Every Grain” website, and will be pushed through the Grain Farmers’ social media feeds as well as Soules’ Twitter account. It will also be shown as part of regular exhibits the organization brings to trade shows and farming events across the province. The organization worked with Citizen Relations on the campaign.

The new video is part of the Grain Farmers of Ontario’s on-going “Good in Every Grain” campaign, launched last summer. Meghan Burke, manager of communications for the Grain Farmers of Ontario, says the platform is meant to build public trust so the organization can be a resource for questions and concerns people might have about where their food comes from, which is especially important in a time when people are concerned about things like environmental sustainability, pesticides and GMOs.

“There’s a responsibility for us to answer questions the public has about farming. We want to be that window into what is being done to produce food and bio-products,” she says.

Burke adds that bringing in someone like Soules, who has both public notoriety and a connection with grain farming, is a way to increase that trust.

Prior to this, the organization had focused mainly on marketing itself at trade shows, as well as sponsorship of Canadian sports teams. It has done some small TV campaigns in the past that primarily focused on road safety around farm equipment and the benefits of eating grains. “Good in Every Grain” turns more towards the big picture, showing people that grain is a local source of food and a part of many products in their everyday lives (like toothpaste and some plastics) and highlighting the stories of farmers that produce it.