US ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's is launching a television advertisement campaign aimed at highlighting the struggle of small-scale family farming in the face of the growth of industrial agriculture.

The campaign will air in eight key markets - Boston; Burlington, Vermont; Denver; New York; San Francisco; Portland, Oregon; Seattle and Washington, DC - through November.

"The ad features Mike Eastman, a first-generation Vermont dairy farmer, and communicates the message that America loses 330 farms every week due in large part to the proliferation of industrial agriculture, encroaching urban development and other economic shifts in agriculture," the company said.

The company, part of Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever, aims to encourage consumers to ask Congress to further national farmer-friendly legislation, through vehicles such as the 2007 Farm Bill, to protect small and mid-sized farms while slowing the expansion of industrial farming.

"These ads aren't about selling ice cream," said Walt Freese, Ben & Jerry's CEO. "We're trying to initiate public dialogue about the fact that small and mid-size family farms are in danger of disappearing. We think Ben & Jerry's consumers care about this issue as much as we do, so we're using our marketing dollars to encourage them to tell Congress that smaller family farms are important to a diverse food supply."