C.O.nxt ❧ Best of NAMA 2023 submission ❧ Category 49

Illinois Farm Families

Social Media


Illinois Farm Families

Illinois Farm Families (IFF) is a coalition comprised of representatives from Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Midwest Dairy, and Illinois Pork Producers Association. IFF’s mission is to work together to create confidence in Illinois farming practices and build trust in Illinois farmers among consumers, particularly among Chicago parents. To meet this challenge, IFF turned to its Instagram social media platform and focused on these two strategies as maps for content: 1) content should increase awareness and educate the Chicago audience on the importance of Illinois agriculture to gain support in consumption habits, and 2) content should seek to grow engagement with the Chicago audience by deepening relationships and building connection between rural and urban families.  

The following content buckets were born out of these strategies:  

  • Education Reimagined: While educating on sustainability, food safety and other important ag topics, the messages in these posts work to answer the question of “Why does it matter to our audience?” Example: Connect why a sustainable beef producer’s practicing of soil health affects the quality of beef a consumer purchases at the store.  
  • Take Action: These posts include actionable outcomes. They include content such as recipes and seasonal eating tips and share next steps for supporting the subject of the post. Example: Highlight a turkey farm and give steps on how to order a turkey. 
  • Shared content/partnership support: These posts consist of posts supporting partnerships, shared content from the coalition commodities’ national organizations, and shared knowledge and support from others within the influencer space. Example: Share video of a chef preparing a beef roast who has tagged IFF. 
  • Connecting Families: This content focuses on connecting the rural and urban families. It showcases how both families have similarities and share the same values. Example: IFF’s social campaign with Chicago-based Love Fridge, a mutual aid group working to improve food access in Chicago communities.

IFF also used short-run campaigns such as Behind the Barn Doors, Fact Series, and #FarmFriday to share information about Illinois agriculture, food nutrition, and food safety in an engaging and relatable way.  


Did you know all meat and dairy foods sold in the U.S. are free of antibiotic residues? Like humans, animals may be given antibiotics to help keep them healthy. But drug elimination time, withdrawal periods, and numerous checks and balances ensure the food supply you buy is antibiotic-free. Learn more from Veterinarian Dr. Brandon Scharping at the link in our bio.​

#AnimalWelfare #Antibiotics #ILBeef #UndeniablyDairy #ILPork

Illinois farm families care for more than 27 million acres of the state’s land. As stewards of that land, our families take great care in managing the health of its soil, a vital resource for maintaining a sustainable food supply. Soil also may have potential to absorb some of the effects of a changing climate. Watch how one Illinois beef farmer is taking action to protect Illinois farmland at the link in our bio.

#FarmersOfIllinois #Conservation #Farming #EarthDay #Earth EarthDayLive #EarthDay22 #InvestInOurPlanet

What percent of greenhouse gases are dairy products responsible for? It’s smaller than many might think. Illinois farmers remain steadfast in doing what they can to slow climate change. In fact, the dairy community has reduced milk’s carbon footprint by 63% in recent decades. Explore what one Illinois farmer is doing to make their dairy farm’s carbon footprint smaller at the link in our bio.​

#MidwestDairy #UndeniablyDairy #ClimateChange #GreenhouseGases #EarthDay #Earth #EarthDayLive #EarthDay22 #InvestInOurPlanet

Did you know Illinois farmers dedicate more than 800,000 acres to land and water conservation? Our farmers have the privilege of managing roughly 75% of the land in the state and they’re working hard every day to conserve and protect it all. Find out how at the link in our bio. ​

#FarmersOfIllinois #SoilHealth #Sustainability #Conservation

Did you know Illinois farmers have dedicated over 100,000 acres to pollinators? It’s estimated that one in three bites of food we eat are dependent on pollinators like monarch butterflies! Check out what Illinois farmers are doing to support pollination which, in turn, helps our food supply. Link in our bio.

#pollinators #monarchbutterfly #pollinatorfriendly #pollinatorhabitat #illinoiswildlife

Next time you’re on a road trip and pass a corn field or a cow pasture, remember that 96% of Illinois farms are owned by a family just like yours! Check out what a typical day looks like for an Illinois farmer at the link in our bio.​

#FarmersOfIllinois #FamilyOwned #FunFacts


Authenticity creates trust. We created our “Behind The Barn Door” to give farmers a non-edited platform in their natural environment. By showing a day in the life of their family, we build connections to families throughout Illinois.


At Illinois Farm Families, we’re all about providing quality, nutritious food. And we’re not the only ones who prioritize that mission. Keep an eye on this space to see which Chicago organization we are teaming up with in February! #solidaritynotcharity

Don’t have any weekend plans yet? Help us spread love and provide nutritious food to those in need by donating to your closest Love Fridge location! Find a Love Fridge near you at the link in our bio.

#SolidarityNotCharity #TheLoveFridgeChicago #EndFoodInsecurity

Food insecurity is at an all-time high and keeping communities fed should be a top priority for everyone. Together, we can help Love Fridge [TAG] work towards nourishing communities while working against hunger and food waste. To learn more about Love Fridge’s mission or to get involved visit the link in our bio.

#TheLoveFridgeChicago #MutualAid #Community #SolidarityNotCharity


We have an awesome #FarmFriday in store for you today! Head to our stories to follow along with Urban Growers Collective. UGC operates eight urban farms on 11-acres of land predominantly located on Chicago’s South Side. In 2021, they provided paid job training to over 188 teens, mentored 13 Incubator Farmers, produced 20,000 pounds of food grown in Chicago, and provided $340,000 in produce and hot meals for emergency food relief to combat food insecurity.

We have a very special #FarmFriday takeover in store today for #NationalFFAWeek. Head to our stories to follow along with Natalie Pratt, an FFA member who lives on a farm in our great state growing corn, soybeans and seed corn. ????

Who’s ready for another #FarmerFriday? Follow John today as he shows you around Ackerman Family Farms in Morton, IL and talks about pumpkin production—including the pumpkins on our front porch steps and the pumpkins we’ll cut open for Thanksgiving pumpkin pies. Head to our stories to check it out!

Who’s ready for the first #FarmFriday of 2022? ????‍♀️ Today, Kim Kirchherr, a registered dietitian, will be talking about the importance of Vitamin D. Head to our stories to hear Kim’s advice on how you can get more of the “sunshine vitamin” in your daily diet. ☀️ ????


Hey, Chicago! Are you heading to @tasterandolph in a few weeks? Our booth visitors will have the chance to learn about Illinois grown foods from local experts, get exclusive recipes, and take home awesome items from our giveaways. Stay tuned to learn more. ​

#TasteOfRandolph #WestLoop #ChicagoEvents #ChicagoFood #ChicagoFoodFest #WatchUsGrow

Have nutrition questions about Illinois grown food? Registered dietitian Maggie Michalczyk of @onceuponapumpkin will be joining us Saturday, June 18 from 1-2 pm at Taste of Randolph answering your questions and talking all things nutrition. Learn more at the link in our bio.​

#TasteOfRandolph #WestLoop #ChicagoEvents #ChicagoFood ChicagoFoodFest #WatchUsGrow


Filling your kitchen with staples is an easy way to make breakfast, dinner, and everything in between an easier task! Illinois mom Becky Finfrock has the staples to shop for as you browse the aisles of your grocery stores or farmers’ markets. Check it out at the link in our bio.​

#Mealprep #Kitchenstaples #cooking

Planning meals for the picky eaters in your family doesn’t have to be hard! Illinois farm mom Ashley Deal is serving up fun and tasty solutions for pleasing the picky eaters in your family in our latest blog post. Check it out at the link in our bio.​

#PickyEaters #MealHacks #MomBlog #MomBlogging


Outcomes from the social strategies and campaigns for IFF’s FY22 included: 

IFF’s Instagram’s Chicago following grew from 6.2% to 14.7% .

IFF’s Instagram account had a net growth of 795 followers in 2022.