U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance Assembles Leaders in Entertainment, Foodservice, Academia and Agriculture for Panel Discussions June 20-21, 2012

CHESTERFIELD, MO. (May 25, 2012) Farmers and ranchers are headed to Los Angeles – the entertainment capital of the world – for the second Food Dialogues event, June 20-21, 2012.  Four separate discussions – held over two days – will bring together entertainment movers and shakers, chefs, academics, large restaurant operators, journalists, local leaders, farmers and ranchers for an in-depth conversation about food.  All panel discussions taking place at the event entitled, “Lights, Camera, Food: Perceptions and Realities of Farming and Ranching in America,” will be available online (either live streamed or taped) at www.fooddialogues.com.

 “We are pleased to bring this type of conversation to the forefront in a pivotal location like Los Angeles,” said Bob Stallman, chairman of USFRA and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.  “We chose Los Angeles because of the influence the region and its opinion leaders have on popular culture and trends that affect the entire nation – including how we view our food. These in-depth discussions will not only move the conversation forward about how food is grown and raised, but it will also give those in the agricultural industry the opportunity to learn more from consumers and their needs and expectations for the food-growing industries.”

USFRA will announce the full list of panelists prior to The Food Dialogues events in Los Angeles. Two of the four panel discussions will stream live online on both Wednesday, June 20 and Thursday, June 21 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. PDT, providing opportunities for farmers, ranchers and the general public to register to watch and participate in the discussion online. Additionally, individuals with a Twitter account can follow all of the panel discussions by following @USFRA using #FoodD.  The full list of panels is as follows:

Day One – Wednesday, June 20, 2012

  • Hollywood and “Vine”: The Intersection of Pop Culture and Food Production

Live streamed (www.fooddialogues.com) on Wednesday, June 20 – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. PDT.

o   Panel Description: Cooking shows, food competitions, online content, books and documentaries – these are only a few examples of the many ways the entertainment world is addressing the topic of food.  But, as more Americans turn to entertainment to influence their food-purchasing and consumption decisions, are they getting the full story? Are these entertainment properties providing content that is fair or accurate? Has entertainment played an important role in our society by raising people’s consciousness about food?  Should farmers and ranchers be a bigger part of entertainment ventures? This event will feature entertainment decision-makers, farmers and ranchers for a conversation about the portrayal of food and agriculture in popular culture.

  • Meeting of the Minds: Touring Hollywood’s Urban Farm  

Wednesday, June 20 – 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. PDT.  Follow this panel discussion on Twitter @USFRA using #FoodD to participate in a live-Tweeting of the event activities as they happen. This event will be taped and content from the panel will be available in late June 2012.

o   Panel Description: Communities across America, including major metropolitan areas, are embracing urban farms and community gardens. The role these urban farms play is important to the communities where they operate, often addressing a larger societal/community need. Equally important is the direct connection the farm/garden gives to consumers interested in learning more about how food is grown and raised.  What can larger, conventional farms learn about best practices from urban farms – and vice versa?  Join farmers and ranchers – large and small, urban and rural, as they tour Wattles Farm in Hollywood. This intimate discussion will take a look at best practices and shared techniques, no matter the farm size, and the role that urban farms/community gardens play in feeding the stomachs and souls of American communities.  And discover how rural and urban farmers can work together to provide healthy choices for people everywhere.

Day Two – Thursday, June 21, 2012

  • The Great Debate: Science, Technology and Food

Live streamed www.fooddialogues.com) on Thursday, June 21 – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. PDT.

o   Panel Description: What technologies are farmers and ranchers using to produce food while protecting the environment? Is more research the answer to biotechnology in agriculture? Join a panel of leading scientists and academics, farmers, ranchers and thought leaders for a dynamic conversation about the role science and technology play in agriculture.

  • The REAL Chef Challenge: Understanding How Food is Grown and Raised

Thursday, June 21 – 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. PDT. Follow us on Twitter @USFRA using #FoodD to participate in a live-Tweeting of the event activities as they happen. This event will be taped and content from the panel will be available in late June 2012.

o  Panel Description: Each day, individuals across the food chain – from farmers and ranchers to grocers and chefs – play unique roles in delivering the food we eat. How have these roles changed given Americans’ appetite for more information and preferences about how their food is sourced?  What unique circumstances and challenges must be addressed in order for chefs, restaurateurs and grocers to continue delivering products their customers want?   Do chefs have enough access to the farmers who grow and raise our food?  This intimate roundtable will bring together farmers, ranchers, chefs, and others to discuss how food sourcing impacts how they grow, raise, buy and serve healthy choices for people everywhere. 

For additional information about USFRA and The Food Dialogues events taking place in Los Angeles, visit www.fooddialogues.com, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USFarmersandRanchers.  To attend an event in-person, call 888-25-USFRA (87372) or e-mail rsvp@fooddialogues.com for additional details. Follow USFRA on Twitter @USFRA, using #FoodD.

About U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA)

U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) is a newly formed alliance consisting of a wide range of prominent farmer- and rancher-led organizations and agricultural partners. This marks the first time agricultural groups at the national, regional and state levels have collaborated to lead the dialogue and answer Americans’ questions about how we raise our food – while being stewards of the environment, responsibly caring for our animals and maintaining strong businesses and communities.

This press release was wholly or partially funded by one or more Checkoff programs.

CONTACT

Cindy Hackmann, U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA)

hackmann@usfraonline.org / 636-449-5086

Jennifer Reinhard, Ketchum on behalf of USFRA,
jennifer.reinhard@ketchum.com / 415-984-6179