Snacks at the Table - December 5, 2018 - Food Dialogues

Snacks at the Table - December 5, 2018

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Farmers and Ranchers are the Changemakers
By Chip Bowling, USFRA Chairman

I’m humbled to be U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance’s new Chairman followed by such passionate leaders for agriculture, including Bob Stallman, Nancy Kavazanjian and Brad Greenway. For those of you I haven’t met, I formerly served on the board and as Chairman of National Corn Growers Association. USFRA was founded while I was in this role in 2010, and I couldn’t be more honored to carry on this legacy with our farmer-led board. The inception of U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance was an extraordinary milestone for agriculture and a proud moment for all farmers and ranchers to come together as one voice.

As a Maryland farmer growing corn, soybeans, wheat, barley and grain sorghum in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, I’ve seen the food conversation shift with more and more consumers sharing their perspective. As influential voices continue to emerge, now more than ever we need all of food and agriculture to speak in unison to ensure we have a seat at the table with today’s consumers and across the entire value chain.

We have a role to help food leaders, retailers and consumers make more informed decisions. Being an hour’s drive outside of Washington, D.C., I recently hosted a group of Capital Hill staffers on my farm to walk the fields, see the equipment and explain our conservation practices like no-till and buffer strips that protect the Chesapeake Bay. The reaction I received was incredible hearing that they didn’t realize farmers were doing the right thing all along. One of my goals as Chairman is to include our perspective on issues that make us feel vulnerable. Because we don’t have anything to hide in agriculture and if we’re an open book, our transparency will build more trust with the consumer.

I truly believe farmers and ranchers are the change makers, and real sustainability starts with each acre. With 48 percent of our land is in the stewardship of America’s farmers and ranchers, U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance 2.0 will ensure agriculture has a seat the table with the food leaders of tomorrow. But we need every farmer, every acre and every voice matter in our commitment to steward sustainable food systems of the 21st century.

I look forward to serving you as Chairman and ensuring our farmers and ranchers lead the conversation on sustainability.


Chip Bowling, USFRA Chairman 


Join USFRA Partner & Supporter Webinar – Dec. 11 

Join us in December for our Partner & Supporter Webinar to learn more about U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance 2.0’s refined focus, the new Farmer Ambassador program and our project focus in 2019. Hear from our new CEO Erin Fitzgerald about USFRA’s new strategy to elevate farmers and ranchers as the solution for sustainability and how every farmer, every voice and every acre matter to create sustainable food systems.

Click here to register. for the Dec. 11 webinar from 10:00-11:00 a.m. CST. If you’re unable to attend the webinar, there will be a second webinar on January 10th at 11:00 a.m. CST. If you prefer to attend on 1/10 instead, please click here to register.


Celebrate #WorldSoilDay Today

World Soil Day, held annually on December 5, focuses on the importance of healthy soil and advocating for the sustainable management of soil resources. One of the ways to celebrate World Soil Day and learn more about managing the land sustainably, is to watch Living Soil, a 60-minute film by The Soil Health Institute that documents the Soil Health Movement. The film features rural and urban farmers from Maryland to California, selling everything from corn to bouquets, united by their care for the soil.

We encourage you to watch the film at


Tune in for USFRA’s Farm, Food, Facts podcast

Featured last week on our podcast, hear from Don Cameron of Terranova Ranch and USFRA CEO Erin Fitzgerald about insights from the Sustainable Agriculture Summit. Additionally, Don shares his sustainability story and discusses the California weather events, i.e. drought, forest fires, and climate change, that impact his ranch and the 25 different crops on 6,000 acres. Tune in every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. CST for USFRA’s Farm, Food, Facts podcast.

Click here to sign up and hear our previous podcasts. It’s also available on iTunes, Stitcher and Soundcloud.


This Week’s Social Media Trends 

USFRA’s Social Harvest Newsletter, distributed each Friday, offers resources about the latest trends in digital and social media, which may impact your online strategy. We are now including these stories in Snacks at the Table, instead of sending out a separate newsletter. 

  • Facebook: Internal Facebook emails published online by a committee of U.K. lawmakers show the social network was very open to sharing users personal data. Click here to read more.
  • Instagram: Instagram launches new “Close Friends” feature that allows users to post Story content to a select group of users. Click here to read more.
  • YouTube: YouTube announced the addition of Stories which now brings the format to nearly every social platform. Click here to read more.

Upcoming Events

Have an event you would like help promoting? Email Paul Murphy-Spooner at with the event information and USFRA will help you raise awareness via our social media and communications channels.

We’re always looking to feature our partners, supporters or farmers/ranchers who find interesting ways to inform consumers about today’s agriculture, so please reach out and share your stories with us!