Thursday, June 21, 2012

Learn From Your Farmer, Know Your Farmer, Trust Your Farmer

For the last two days in Los Angeles, there has been some AMAZING things happening.  The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance hosted::

The Food Dialogues: Los Angeles
Lights, Camera, Food: Perceptions and Realities of Farming and Ranching in AmericA

The panels were streaming live on the internet so I was able to listen in on the last panel of the day.  And boy o boy was it a good one.  It was so awesome to see a large panel made up of a diverse group of people, but one thing that they all had in common... farmers.  

  • Dr. Dave Daley • Associate Dean, College of Agriculture, Chico State University & Cattlemen
  • Vinny Dotolo • Chef, Animal 
  • Ray Martin • Vice President, Culinary Development & Corporate Executive Chef
  • Gabe Segovia • Manager, Culinary Innovation, El Pollo Loco
  • Julie Maschhoff • Pig farmer & Vice President, Public Policy and Public Relations, The Maschhoffs 
  • Kristin Reese • Chef, farmer/rancher
  • Jon Shook • Chef, Animal 
The discussion was titled The REAL Chef Challenge: Understanding How Food is Grown and Raised.  I didn't get to listen in on all of it because I was at work and well, since it is only my first week on the job, I was trying to multi-task and do work and still listen, but from the topics that I did catch, there was alot of amazing points that were brought up.  Another great thing happening during all of this was social media.  Now in today's age the use of social media is immense and it sure was shown today.  I can honestly say that the twittersphere was blowing up!

So instead of my blabbing on and on about how awesome this panel was today I'm just gonna throw out a few of the best things I heard today.
  1. 98% of all farms in America are family owned. Family plays a critical role in agriculture.
  2. It's not just educating, its about conversing and listening. Know Your Farmers, Trust Your Farmer.
  3. Agriculture by definition is innovative- give a farmer or rancher a challenge and they will overcome it.
  4. Conventional farmer is a misnomer, all farming has changed over the past several years.  It's constantly improving. 
  5. Why do we welcome technology into daily life but resist it in agriculture?
So after all this said, I guess my main point that I always go back to is, EDUCATE yourself about your food choices.  Don't let social media, celebrities, or outsiders choose for you.  If you have questions or concerns about your food, ASK A FARMER.  They are the ones growing your food, so they are the only ones who truly know how and where your food is coming from. 


...that's what she said

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