Consumers increasingly want to know where their food comes from and the methods used to grow and raise that food. They also want to know about food’s possible long-term health impacts and/or its impact to the planet.

On August 11, the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, Nebraska Soybean Board and U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance are hosting Food Dialogues®: Minneapolis, Farm to Consumer: bridging the gap between consumer concerns and food production and sourcing decisions.

Held at the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis, registered dietitians, farmers and ranchers, and industry leaders will come together for a panel discussion focusing on environmental sustainability, GMO safety, and animal welfare. If you would like to attend the event in Minneapolis on Tuesday, August 11, please register here:

Panelists will discuss how food is being adapted to consumer needs; from farmers and ranchers growing the food, to producing and manufacturing products, and the scientific basis around food labeling and health impacts.

Bloomberg News writer Alan Bjerga will moderate the panel discussion. Bjerga is an agricultural policy writer who covers the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including agricultural environmental impacts and sustainability issues. Before joining Bloomberg in October 2006, Bjerga was a regional reporter covering Wichita, KS and Belleville, IL for McClatchy newspapers.

Panelists include:

  • Bill Gordon, Gordon Farms, Worthington, MN

Bill Gordon is the owner of Gordon Farms, a corn and soybean farm, and is the national director of the American Soybean Association. He received his associate of science degree in agriculture, agriculture operations and related sciences from Minnesota West Community and Technical College. He also received a bachelor’s degree in general agriculture with minors in agronomy and animal science from South Dakota State University. Bill is also a tax accountant and has served as an officer with Minnesota Agriculture Water Resource Center.

  • Jorge Guzman, executive chef, Surly Brewing

Jorge Guzman started in the restaurant world at the age of 17 as a busboy and has been in the kitchen ever since. He trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and is now the executive chef at Surly Brewing. Jorge works with the Farm in the Cities program, which allows local chefs and farmers to come together and share their knowledge on local and sustainable food with the community while raising money for Minneapolis and St. Paul charities. In the kitchen, Jorge also tries to use a steady flow of locally farmed foods.

  • Jen Haugen, registered dietitian

Jen Haugen, RDN is an award-winning dietitian, mom, nutrition communications consultant, writer, speaker, and school nutrition dietitian with Austin Public Schools. She is currently the spokesperson for the Greater Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In addition, she is working with both the Calorie Control Council and The Soy Foods Council in nutrition communications creating content, developing recipes and social media engagement. Jen is also a member of Common Ground Minnesota, an organization working to start the conversation between the women who grow food and the women who buy it.

  • Rochelle Krusemark, Krusemark Farms, Trimont, MN

Rochelle Krusemark is a fourth generation farmer on Krusemark farms, and a crop insurance claim adjuster. Rochelle married into farming and is enrolled in the farm management program at Minnesota West Community and Technical College. Rochelle also serves on the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council and is a proud spokesperson of the Minnesota farming community as a “Farming Today” speaker.

  • Steve Peterson, former director of sustainable sourcing at General Mills

Steve Peterson led External Manufacturing at General Mills from 2005-2010. He was a member of the Integration team, creating the combined Supply Chain resulting from the General Mills and Pillsbury merger. Steve serves on several nonprofit boards, including Field to Market, Park Nicollet Foundation, MN, AgriGrowth Council, Presbyterian Homes, and the Paynesville Area Community Foundation.

  • Bertrand Weber, director of Minneapolis Public Schools Culinary & Nutrition Services

Bertrand Weber’ career includes more than 35 years of combined management experience in hospitality industry and school food service. As director for Minneapolis Public School Culinary and Nutrition Services, Bertrand has transformed the Minneapolis Public Schools food service program, implementing Market Cart Salad Bars. Bertrand is currently also the vice-chair of the National Farm to School Advisory Board, the Lead District of School Food Focus Upper Midwest Regional Learning Lab and Chair of SNA Major City Committee.

  • Steve Polski, senior director, sustainability, Cargill Inc.

Steve Polski created and launched the Responsible Supply Chains (RSC) advisory business for Cargill, Inc. providing strategic consulting to organizations, helping them quickly identify, prioritize and quantify environmental and social performance improvement projects in their supply chain, resulting in cost reduction, risk mitigation and brand elevation. Steve also created a joint business relationship between Cargill and PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) that brings leading solutions to clients in the area of responsible supply chains and sustainability. Steve has extensive experience in supply chain management, transportation and third-party logistics.  He currently sits on the boards of World CNG, Living Well Disability Services and Revolution Fuels, where Steve is also a founder.

The schedule for Tuesday, August 11 is as follows:

5:30 p.m. – Event registration begins
5:30 – 7:00 p.m. – Cocktails and networking
7:30 p.m. – Panel discussion

The Food Dialogues® signature events are designed to bring together farmers, ranchers, industry experts, scientists, media, and consumers for dynamic panel discussions on some of today’s most pressing topics related to food and food production. Since its launch in 2011, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance has hosted more than two dozen panels across the country.

Learn more about Food Dialogues: Minneapolis at the event page. Register to attend the event in Minneapolis at the registration page.

Please note this Food Dialogues will not be live streamed. It will, however be recorded and available on for later viewing.