A nationwide survey, conducted for the National Corn Growers Association, found broad public respect and trust for family farmers and support for corn as food, feed, and fuel. Of those polled, 95% find farmers to be trusted messengers on issues such as agriculture, corn products and ethanol – and ethanol itself was supported or strongly supported as a good fuel alternative by 65%.
NCGA President Darrin Ihnen, a farmer in Hurley, South Dakota, says the final numbers were beyond what the group imagined. While the high level of support is gratifying he says it's also a challenge to work hard to maintain the trust of consumers.
When it comes to uses for corn, support was broad with 95% supporting its use as food for people, 93% as livestock feed, and 67% as a sweetener. Other uses of corn, such as for fiber and packaging, were supported by 73% of those polled.
The numbers on what respondents saw as the top benefits of corn-based ethanol were much less. 34% mentioned reduced dependence on foreign oil, 19% mentioned the creation of new jobs and 16% liked it for its environmental benefits.