It´s been said that the average American today has a richer, healthier, more varied diet than the wealthiest people enjoyed a century ago. A visit to any supermarket confirms that impression.
The way people shop for food has changed almost as much as the food they shop for. And it continues to evolve. For some people, it´s a case of “back to the future”-- relying on locally sourced products and farmers' markets, or making a daily trip to the grocery, the produce market and the butcher. For many more, a weekly trip to the supermarket is the way to go. For people who live near California’s San Joaquin Valley – one of America’s great agricultural regions with a year-round temperate climate – local sourcing is relatively easy. For people in, say, North Dakota in the middle of the winter, not so much.
Fact is, America’s agricultural system is a vast and complex network made up of many different producers, transporters, wholesalers and retailers, large and small, local and distant. America´s farmers and ranchers have a responsibility to put food on the table a billion times a day in the United States alone.
Food needs to be not just accessible but affordable. Farmers and ranchers are continually working to improve how they raise food that provides access to healthy choices for people at all income levels and in all geographies.
To continue delivering safe, affordable and abundant food, farmers and ranchers are focused on continuous improvement – developing critical and responsible new technologies and practices to improve their ability to safely feed more people. At the same time, they are focused on working closely with food production, processing and distribution systems, and partners to better answer Americans’ questions about how their food is grown and raised.
Over the coming months, America´s farmers and ranchers will be conducting an ongoing dialogue with America´s consumers on the practices and commitment to continuously improving how they grow and raise food that provides healthy choices for people everywhere. We´d like to hear your ideas, your concerns, your questions. We welcome you to join in our Food Dialogues Town Hall online on Sept. 22, to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, and to interact with us through this blog and website.