Message from USFRA’s Chairman
Every Farmer, Every Acre and Every Voice Matters
Last week, I joined our new CEO Erin Fitzgerald at the Farm Progress Show. In chatting with ag leadership and interviewing with Max Armstrong of This Week in Agribusiness and Willie Vogt of Farm Industry News, we highlighted USFRA’s refined 2.0 focus of “Honoring the Harvest” which elevates stewardship and sustainability on today’s farms and ranches. Erin also visited my South Dakota farm, and I showed her how new technologies are continually improving animal care for my pigs and cattle, and precision applications for the corn and soybeans.
When we Honor the Harvest, it’s crucial that everyone is involved. In thinking back to 2010 when U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance was formed, every major agricultural organization and commodity group had a seat at the table. To convene a dialogue with stakeholders and the food leaders of tomorrow, strength in numbers from all of modern agriculture helped make this happen. Our Food Dialogues and FARMLAND Film were the first of its kind and celebrated our flourishing and united industry.
We need to continue this momentum and reignite farmer and rancher trailblazers to lead the conversation with consumers and influencers. We’ve seen it with our Faces of Farming & Ranching Chris Chinn, who became Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, and Jay Hill who’s a viral champion and recently reached 6M people through his video about fake news and 1.86% of the American work force begging to be heard.
Whether local, urban, conventional, organic, it takes open minds, inclusion and all sustainable food systems working together to create a diverse, cohesive and united agriculture. Everyone has a sustainability success story, and USFRA’s engAGe app is a perfect way to amplify new innovations and creative ideas throughout our industry. Let’s take pride in our stewardship for the land which translates into sustainable agriculture – a term that farmers and ranchers can own in today’s food conversations.
We can be successful if we remember that every farmer, every acre and every voice matters.
Beef Farmer’s Perspective on Sustainability
Recently featured in the Rochester Post-Bulletin, USFRA Board Member Katie Brenny reached more than 500,000 people with her op-ed on sustainability and animal welfare on today’s farms and ranches. The piece “Transparency in farm methods is good for consumers” discusses how advances in technology have enhanced dramatically with the animal’s and consumer’s best interests in mind.
In the piece, Katie shares, “Animal care is the heart of everything we do to raise cattle today. Beef farmers and ranchers are committed to raising healthy animals. In many cases, many of us have lived on the same land for generations, so our livelihoods depend on healthy cattle. It’s the right thing to do, not only for the animals, but also for the consumer and the environment.”
We encourage you to share Katie’s story on social media. If you feel passionate about a certain food or farming topic, elevate your perspective by submitting an op-ed to your local newspaper.
USFRA Chairman and CEO Attend Farm Progress Show
Last week, USFRA Chairman Brad Greenway and CEO Erin Fitzgerland attended Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, to discuss our organization’s refined 2.0 focus of “Honoring the Harvest” and elevating stewardship and sustainability on today’s farms and ranches. Brad and Erin interviewed with This Week in Agribusiness, Farm Industry News, WNAX Radio and KGLO Radio among others.
In Brad’s interview with KGLO, he shared, “We’re not only talking to the consumer but also meeting with influencers and sharing the farmer and rancher perspective where it’s not usually represented. USFRA is helping to ensure that agriculture is at the table where decisions are being made and joining the dialogue where we can elevate our voices. Because who doesn’t know sustainability better than today’s farmers and ranchers.”
GreenBiz Features Erin Fitzgerald in Clean Economy Career Moves
With Erin Fitzgerald new to the CEO position at U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, GreenBiz recently did a roundup of Names in the News, and who’s who of career moves in the clean economy. Reaching 300,000 impressions, GreenBiz shares, “The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance has tapped a new CEO, Erin Fitzgerald, who hails from the innovation sector from U.S. Dairy. The coalition of farmer and rancher-led partners want to ‘dialogue with consumers who have questions about how today’s food is grown and raised’ — and this current moment is more critical than ever. The move comes as the American food system is under increasing scrutiny from consumers and climate change is increasingly politicized.”
Utilize Videos to Engage Today’s Consumer
USFRA research shows that videos and documentaries remain the most influential medium among consumers for delivering information about farmers and ranchers. As a way to engage people who are unfamiliar with agriculture, USFRA has a library of consumer-facing videos at www.fooddialogues.com/videos which you can utilize on your social media channels. These range from 360-degree videos, to topics about sustainability, animal welfare and continuous improvement.
Feel free to access these videos as a resource. Sharing your own photos and videos from the field or barn is also a great way to humanize agriculture – be yourself and have fun with it!
Have an event you would like help promoting? Email Paul Murphy-Spooner at firstname.lastname@example.org with the event information and USFRA will help you raise awareness via our social media and communications channels.
- Husker Harvest Days, Grand Island, Neb., Sept. 11-13
- Global Climate Action Summit, San Francisco, Calif., Sept. 12-14
- Farm Science Review, London, Ohio, Sept. 18-20
- Forbes AgTech Summit, Indianapolis, Ind., Sept. 26-27
- WSJ Global Food Forum, New York, New York, Sept. 27
We’re always looking to feature our affiliates or farmers/ranchers who find interesting ways to inform consumers about today’s agriculture, so please reach out and share your stories with us!