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U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance wants new conversation about food

Published Aug. 23, 2011 | Discuss this article on Facebook
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U.S. farmers and ranchers are encouraged to let their voices be heard at USFRAonline.org.

Buckeye Farm News

“As farmers and ranchers, we’ve raised pretty much everything. Except our voices,” says a voice in the video posted on the newly-formed U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) homepage. “The voice of farmers and ranchers has often been missing in the conversation about where food in America comes from. That changes now.”

Americans want to know more about their food. They want to know where it comes from, how it was raised and if it’s good for their long-term health. Today, an opportunity exists to answer Americans’ questions about their food. But according to USFRA, it’s not going to happen through traditional campaigns to “educate the public” and reactive efforts to “defend agriculture.”

Unlike most previous agricultural advocacy organizations, USFRA will be open to all those interested in joining the conversation about American food, including those who may not always agree.

“We want to turn the current culture wars on the good food/bad food debate into a constructive dialogue,” USFRA states on its website. “We hope to invite many parties to the conversation, to listen and to focus on solutions.”According to USFRA, this marks the first time farmer- and rancher-led organizations and agricultural partners at the national, regional and state levels have collaborated to lead a dialogue with Americans about where their food comes from, the importance of today’s agriculture and a commitment to continuous improvement. American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman is the chairman of the group, which includes a number of farm and commodity organizations.While USFRA will take actions to correct misinformation and rumors, most of its communications will be focused on helping farmers and ranchers lead on-going proactive, positive discussions about how food is grown or raised, and about the future of food.

It’s an effort to show that America’s farmers and ranchers share consumers’ values, to emphasize dedication to continuous improvement and to engage key customer decision makers in the dialogue about the value of modern food production.

“This is the beginning of a long-term movement about doing the right things to fix the growing distrust of today’s agriculture,” according to USFRA. “We want to answer Americans’ many questions about how their food is grown or raised – and listen to their concerns. This movement will create a more balanced discussion about agriculture issues – giving farmers and ranchers a chance to raise our voices.”

Our Voice Counts. Raise it in the USFRA Survey

What do you want Americans to know about where their food comes from? If you could tell the average consumer one thing about farming what would it be?

The first step to including your voice in this new movement is by providing your answers to these questions at www.USFRAonline.org. USFRA is also seeking more examples of farmers’ and ranchers’ commitments to continuous improvement. All survey results will be shared and used in future conversations with the American public, including influential consumers and decision makers.

Visit www.usfraonline.org to learn more or to connect with the group on Facebook and Twitter.



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