2020 Golden ARC Award Winner: Annual Reports: Non-financial Annual Reports
Posted by: Kellie Lasack on May 25, 2021
Posted in: Uncategorized
Gone are the days when all you had to do to run a successful corn growing operation was put more grain in the bin. In today’s corn industry, as it is throughout our global economy, sustainability and corporate social responsibility have an enormous impact on the bottom line. This is especially true in agriculture, as sustainability isn’t merely a public relations buzzword but a necessity in preserving the soil and environment for continued, generational growth.
But if you think you’d surprise a corn farmer with this information, think again. The corn industry has taken an incredibly proactive approach to responsible farming, steadily implementing sustainable management practices in all areas of operations, including soil health, water management, precision agriculture, pollinator health and more. So, it was fitting that this World of Corn report not only provide an update on the direct economic status of the industry but also inform stakeholders of the impact that their sustainability efforts are having – so they can see that they’re doing a World of Good.
Founded in 1957, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) represents nearly 40,000 dues-paying corn farmers nationwide and the interests of more than 300,000 growers who contribute through corn checkoff programs in their states. This annual report shows the contribution from American corn growers each year to feed and fuel our country.
Each year, NCGA publishes the World of Corn report to highlight the previous year’s corn crop statistics. In addition, a companion piece is created to focus on a specific benefit or area of corn production. In 2019, the focus landed on sustainable solutions that corn growers employ to contribute to a World of Good.
The World of Corn companion piece is always concepted and designed to give recipients visual, quick-hit content in a form they can keep and even prominently display where they live or work. And because the sustainability efforts employed by farmers have had such a big impact, we wanted to deliver the information in a big way in 2019.
We started with an engaging, accordion-style poster. When closed, the image on the poster looks like a regular ear of corn. When opened, the top and bottom of the corn separate the ear into levels, which illustrate the World of Good being done by the industry.
Pretty clever, but nothing too far out of the box just yet. That is, until we added in the augmented reality element. Because there is so much valuable information to be shared, we needed a way to deliver more content in a way that would preserve the visual appeal of the poster and captivate the audience.
By downloading an app and scanning the poster, the ear of corn would come alive within the user’s environment, appearing to stand up off the poster in 3-D fashion. The users would then be treated to an animated video, walking them through the finer details of each level of sustainable effort in an immersive and memorable way.
The World of Corn report and its companion piece are efforts truly intended as purely informational –with no strings attached. There are no calls to action other than where to learn more information and no underlying sales motives. So while there are a few circulation numbers, the true measure of the piece’s success are testimonials that came from farmers themselves.
140,072 copies were distributed to 250-plus-acre corn growers in the DTN Progressive Farmer April issue and 2,000 issues were reprinted and distributed for use by state associations. Here’s a little of what growers had to say.
“Something I’ve never seen”
“Really, really cool”
“I just want to keep watching it.”