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    Grocers Line Up in Droves to Support "Heart of Washington" Campaign

    OLYMPIA, Wash. -- From the Heart of Washington (HOW), a marketing program from the Washington Department of Agriculture advocating Washington crops and food products, last week launched a multi-tier public education campaign aimed at promoting Washington agriculture, and 450 stores have gotten behind the effort.

    OLYMPIA, Wash. -- From the Heart of Washington (HOW), a marketing program from the Washington Department of Agriculture advocating Washington crops and food products, last week launched a multi-tier public education campaign aimed at promoting Washington agriculture, and 450 stores have gotten behind the effort.

    Each store has committed to posting signage and shelf talkers promoting Washington products such as packaged goods, frozen food, dairy, meats, seafood, wine, and produce. The point-of-purchase materials feature the HOW logo, and the tag line "Our farms to your table."

    Called "Did you know?" the campaign also includes television, public radio, and a Web site redesign. HOW recently wrapped television production on a 30-second spot featuring Governor Gregoire grocery shopping, explaining the variety, freshness, and value of buying Washington-grown and -made products. Governor Gregoire also calls consumers to action, asking them to seek out Washington products when they shop.

    HOW has purchased public radio underwriting on KPLU and the N3 NPR statewide network, which airs concurrently with television. The group also secured a commitment from Washington retailers representing 450 store locations.

    "The kind of buy-in HOW is getting from the grocers statewide is remarkable," said Clif Finch, v.p. of governmental affairs for the Washington Food Industry. "To have a highly competitive marketplace -- the supermarket industry -- come together in support of Washington products is a great victory and one that should be lauded."

    Serving as an informational hub, the HOW Web site, http://www.heartofwashington.com, has been updated with user-friendly navigation and seasonal content for consumers.

    From the Heart of Washington serves as an umbrella agency for all statewide agricultural commissions, farm interests, and food producers. Its purpose is to increase consumer demand for Washington's food and agricultural products and demonstrate the economic value of agriculture to the state. The organization is administered by the Washington State Department of Agriculture and includes an advisory board of representatives from the agriculture and food industries.

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