USFRA: Food Dialogues

It seems fitting that now that Alice Water‘s Chez Panisse has had its 40 year anniversary, the US Farmers & Ranchers Alliance is starting a dialogue about many of the issues she and many chefs have raised over the years.

The Food Dialogues are a town hall style open discussion across the country on September 22nd to:

address Americans’ questions about how their food is grown and raised and the long-term impact of the food they are eating – on their own health and the health of the planet. These topics, as well as findings from recent surveys of farmers, ranchers and consumers conducted by USFRA, will all be discussed during this interactive event.

This is an all-day events that starts in Indiana at 12:15 and finishes up with a discussion that starts at 3:15 in New York City.

Here are some of the highlights:

12:15 to 1:15 p.m. EDT: “The Voice of Farmers and Ranchers” Moderator: Max Armstrong, Farm Progress
1:15 to 2:15 p.m. EDT: “The View from 30,000 Feet”
• Emcee: Claire Shipman, ABC News
• Moderator: Phil Lempert, food industry analyst
2:15 to 3:15 p.m. EDT: “The Future of Agriculture”
• Moderator: Jane Wells, CNBC
3:15 to 4:15 p.m. EDT: “From Farms and Ranches to Menus and Check-out Counters”
• Moderator: Chef John Besh

This is an ambitious project that includes streaming video, and interactive questioning by participants through Facebook and the USFRA’s webiste. It is smart to involve a chef like John Besh who actually has a farm. Bob Stallman, chairman of USFRA and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, is quoted in the press release. “We realize farmers and ranchers haven’t always done the best job answering Americans’ questions about how food is grown and raised, and hope The Food Dialogues event will be the start of an ongoing dialogue that addresses these questions and more.” That’s a good thing – much, much more is needed.

Click here for more information.

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