Sacramento Bee
Anne Gonzales

A national town hall-style discussion forum Thursday will allow farmers and ranchers to directly answer questions from Americans about how food is grown and raised.

The forum will address the country's food supply and the impacts of the industry on people's health and the environment. Organized by the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, the interactive event is taking place at four locations across the United States, including a panel discussion at UC Davis' Robert Mondavi Institute.

The forum will include four panel discussions, from 9:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., featuring leaders in food, food service, media and policy, farmers and business leaders. The local panel will have speakers from the university, beef and poultry companies, and leaders in sustainable farming.

Findings from recent surveys of farmers, ranchers and consumers on food production will be discussed. The event will be moderated by "Good Morning America" correspondent Claire Shipman and celebrity chef John Besh, both streamed live from New York City. The USFRA is taking questions from the public on its website www.fooddialogues.com and at its Facebook page. The event is fully interactive, and can be watched live online via the website.

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