Consumers are asking us many questions about biotech seeds and traits. They want to know why some farmers may choose to use them and what the long-term implications are not only for our health but also for the farming/ranching industry.

We don’t have all the answers. All of the challenges and issues facing the agriculture industry are very complex and multifaceted. The issue of using biotech seeds and traits is no different. U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) is not a lobbying or policy-making organization and cannot have a stance on this issue. However, we have encouraged farmers and ranchers to share their experiences and provide some insight into why they choose – or choose not – to use biotech seeds.

We are also encouraging consumers to submit their comments and questions about biotech seeds here on this website. We’ve invited Pamela Ronald, Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of California, Davis, and Michael Dimock, President, Roots of Change, to hold a conversation streamed live from U.C. Davis in northern California on November 2 at 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time / 12: 30 p.m. Eastern Time. During this approximately 60-minute conversation, Dr. Ronald and Mr. Dimock will share their expertises and will address the questions people have about genetic engineering and what that means for the future of our food.

We hope you’ll join us for this conversation. With respect for Dr. Ronald’s and Mr. Dimock's time and due to the volume of content that we expect to address in the time allotted, the interactive component of this chat will be limited. Please note that this is an opportunity to hear two experts.  Neither Pamela Ronald nor Michael Dimock represent USFRA or its affiliates.

Dr. Ronald, a panelist at The Food Dialogues Town Hall in September 2011, also serves as Director of Grass Genetics at the Joint Bioenergy Institute. Her research has been published in Science, Nature and other leading peer-reviewed scientific journals and has also been featured in The New York Times, Organic Gardening Magazine, CNN, Popular Science and on NPR. She’s also a blogger for ScienceBlogs, which recently partnered with National Geographic.

She is also co-author with her husband, Raoul Adamchak, an organic farmer, of "Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetic and the Future of Food” that was selected as one of the best books of 2008 by Seed Magazine and the Library Journal.

Michael Dimock, also a panelist at the Food Dialogues Town Hall in September 2011, is president of Roots of Change Fund. ROC Fund develops and provides resources to a network of leaders and institutions in California collaborating in pursuit of a sustainable food system. It has invested nearly $6.3 million directly and attracted nearly $5 million in match for its programs and projects since 2004.

Dimock was a marketing executive in Europe for agribusiness, farmed organically for three years in Sonoma County, and in 1992 founded Ag Innovations Network, where he began his work on community consensus building and strategic planning to create healthier food and agriculture. From 2002 to 2007, he was Chairman of Slow Food USA and a member of Slow Food International’s board of directors.