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Mark Miller, left, lead singer of Sawyer Brown, joined Jeffery Cannon, president and CEO of Diamond V, to explain the goal of the movie he wrote and produced, "The Ivy League Farmer."
on June 8, 2015

Feed additive suppliers take steps to fight hunger

A group of feed additive suppliers are working together to raise public awareness of the problem of hunger and modern agriculture's role in solving it.

Feed additive suppliers are working together with others in the feed industry and animal agribusiness to raise awareness to the problem hunger, to educate the consumer agriculture’s role in solving the problem, and to take active steps to fight hunger on a local level.

Diamond V’s premier event for the movie, "The Ivy League Farmer," in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, June 5 is an example of this multi-faceted effort.

Jeffrey Cannon, Diamond V’s president and CEO, said Diamond V and several other companies, started a nonprofit a few years ago to do a better job of communicating to the public how modern agriculture can help solve world hunger. He said part of the goal is to portray today’s farmers and agribusiness in a positive light.

“Modern agriculture is not a bad thing. It’s a very good thing,” said Cannon. 

Four companies — Nutra Blend, Kemin, Elanco and Diamond V — are the primary sponsors of this initiative. The process started with the Chew On This Tour, a traveling exhibit that explains how modern farming and agribusiness are helping to meet the world’s growing demand for safe, affordable food. That was followed by the production of the movie, "The Ivy League Farmer." You can view the movie trailer at www.diamondv.com/media/farming-to-fight-hunger.

The movie was written and produced by Mark Miller, the leader of the country music group Sawyer Brown. Miller was involved in the Chew On This campaign and says the saw the movie as the logical next step.

Miller said he had previously done a faith-based movie and found that the movie got the message to a lot of different people.

“I think this movie can do the same thing,” said Miller. “The biggest things we are trying to get across is the modern technology of farming and the hunger issues that are present right here in the United States.”

Miller was in Cedar Rapids for a private premiere of the movie, followed by a concert by Sawyer Brown.

The movie tells the story of a recent graduate from an Ivy League college who returns to the family farm for a short visit prior to starting a career on Wall Street. Two things happen – he sees his father struggling to keep the small dairy farm afloat and he meets a local teacher who is actively involved in fighting the hunger problems she sees among her students. The storyline of the movie is then used to educate the viewer on how modern animal nutrition techniques can increase productivity and how groups can fight hunger on a local level. Miller said he is in negotiation with several cable TV channels, and hopes to have the movie showing on TV this fall.

Diamond V is using the proceeds from "The Ivy league Farmer" to raise money for Operation Backpack.

“Right here in Eastern Iowa we have a serious problem with child malnutrition,” said Cannon. “Operation Backpack is part of that solution, by providing nutritious, quality food over the weekend for kids in need."

Cannon said the goal was to raise $200,000 for Operation Backpack. The company had an outpouring of support for the cause.

“I can report this morning we will presenting a check for $250,000 to Operation Backpack,” said Cannon.  

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