“Americans have a lot of questions about how food is grown and raised, the impact on our health and the health of the planet,” says the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), which sponsored The Food Dialogues, on Sept. 22. The event was the launch of a new effort to bring together different viewpoints on farming and ranching and the future of food. Four panel discussions consisting of leaders and voices across the food spectrum were held in Washington, D.C.; New York; Fair Oaks, IN; and Davis, CA. Their purpose was to begin to address Americans’ biggest concerns about how their food is grown and raised. "But, this discussion is just the start of a long-term effort and will continue," says USFRA. If you missed the Town Hall and want to see the entire discussion, or share your comments, you can join the conversation here. 
Whether it was talking about sustainability, food labeling, safety and nutrition, animal care, environmentalism or the tradition of family farms, The Food Dialogues was, without a doubt, the launch of something great. For years, we have been tight-lipped about what we do on our farms and ranches, but the times are changing. Today, it's increasingly important have open conversations with our consumers to correct misconceptions, answer questions and highlight the amazing things food producers are doing across this country to care for the land and animals while feeding a growing planet.
Did you catch The Food Dialogues online? Were you able to attend in person? Share with us your thoughts and comments on the event and how it might play a critical role in future conversations among policy makers, consumers, journalists and ranchers.
Below, you can read a few of my past columns that relate to positively promoting American agriculture:
In your opinion, what do you feel the greatest misconception of modern American agriculture is today?
Reminder: Today is the last day to vote in the "Fall Memories" Photo Contest. Enter to win a copy of my new children's book, "Levi's Lost Calf." Vote for your favorite here.