(Posted Mon. May 14th, 2012)
May 14: The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance recently held its spring meetings in St. Louis, where significant growth in support of the organization was reported and the greater role farmers and ranchers are playing in our nation’s conversations about food was discussed. The National Corn Growers Association is a founder of USFRA, and NCGA Chairman Bart Schott, a North Dakota Corn Grower, serves as USFRA vice chairman.
“In its first 18 months, USFRA has made a significant impact on the conversation America is having about how its food is produced,” said USFRA Chairman Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “Through our Food Dialogues, U.S. farmers and ranchers are actively engaging in this conversation by telling their personal stories of continuous improvement in the operations.”
With nearly 80 affiliate and industry partner organizations supporting USFRA to-date, Stallman said these meetings allowed representatives from a majority of those organizations to convene and collaborate on activities in which USFRA will be engaging. Seventy individuals discussed USFRA’s movement and the need to continue effective dialogue with top influencers and consumers.
“While there was some discussion of the progress to date, there was definite synergy around the movement USFRA has started, and excitement about the next steps to create more momentum,” said USFRA Communications Advisory Committee Chair Forrest Roberts, CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). Remaining communications activities for the year were outlined and approved by the board, all tying back to USFRA’s key objectives.
USFRA’s key objectives are to increase share of voice in key media; provide information to policymakers/government officials; engage key customers decision makers; work with leading national influencers to create partnerships; and increase role of farmers and ranchers as the voice of animal and crop agriculture.
“The USFRA Board of Directors approved the FY 2012-13 plans presented by the CAC, which included five key activities designed to enhance consumer confidence in today’s agriculture,” said Stallman. USFRA will host a June Food Dialogue meeting in Los Angeles and a Food Dialogue event in New York City in November in conjunction with the fall USFRA Board of Directors meeting. USFRA will also begin the process of producing a documentary telling today’s farmers’ stories, as well as launch a search for the “faces of agriculture” program. Also, to provide a one-stop resource for information on agriculture and food, USFRA will launch a web search and aggregation tool that will be housed at www.fooddialogues.com.
U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance currently represents more than 70 of the top farmer- and rancher- led organizations and agricultural partners. The Alliance includes prominent agricultural groups at the national, regional and state levels that have collaborated to lead the dialogue about their commitment to continuous improvement and best production practices. USFRA recognizes that consumers have questions and valid concerns, and we’re committed to connecting farmers and ranchers with those consumers to engage in a constructive dialogue. To learn more about USFRA’s commitment, please visit www.fooddialogues.com, www.facebook.com and www.twitter.com/USFRA.