A toxic algal bloom that caused 500,000 people in the Toledo, Ohio area to be without tap water made the relationship between food and water a high priority.

At Food Dialogues®: Toledo on Thursday, May 28, a unique group of citizen, government, farmer, environmentalist, and business leaders will discuss how the 2014 Toledo water crisis changed the conversation about water and food.  

Sponsored by USFRA, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Ohio Corn Marketing Program, Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program, and Ohio Soybean Council, the event will take place from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET.

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 26 panels across the country.

Gail Hogan, retired Emmy award winning broadcast journalist, will moderate two panels with a range of compelling guests.

The first panel, “Lessons Learned from Toledo Water Crisis,” focuses on how the world thinks about agriculture and the environment in the aftermath of 500,000 residents losing their water supply. The panelists will discuss what the community did well, what it did not do well, and what lessons can be learned going forward. Panelists will share perspectives from the farm and environmental communities, city government and local business interests. They are:

  • Sandy Bihn, president, Toledo Lighthouse Society and executive director, Lake Erie Waterkeeper Inc.
  • Rich Nachazel, president, Destination Toledo, Inc.
  • Adam Sharp, vice president of public policy, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation

The second panel, “Balancing the Food and Water Equation,” will discuss how water quality and food production are inextricably linked. Innovative thinkers from agriculture, conservation and the scientific community will discuss how we manage both resources in ways that meet society’s needs, and share insights into the challenges ahead. The second group of panelists are:

  • Jack Fisher, executive vice president, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation
  • Josh Knights, executive director, The Nature Conservancy in Ohio
  • Jay Martin, professor of Agricultural Engineering, The Ohio State University
  • Terry McClure, vice chairman, Ohio Soybean Council Board

Learn more about Food Dialogues®: Toledo on May 28 and the panelist lineup at http://www.fooddialogues.com/events/fd-toledo. To sign up to watch the live stream or attend the event in person, visit http://www.fooddialogues.com/content/food-dialogues-toledo-registration.