The Food Dialogues
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

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Two North Carolina Farmers, Bo Stone and Tommy Porter, recently participated in a consumer educational program called The Food Dialogues held in Raleigh, NC. In an effort to address questions that the general public has about food production, the US Farmers and Ranchers Association is conducting The Food Dialogues in select regions of the country.

Through the efforts of the North Carolina Animal Agriculture Coalition, Raleigh was selected as a venue. More the 200 people attended and heard from panels consisting of farmers, food scientists, health care professionals and leaders in the consumer food service address two key questions:

  • “What’s on my Plate?” and “Who is my Farmer?


BO STONE, Robeson County NC

Bo Stone of Robeson County NC, participated in the first panel entitled “What’s On My Plate?”

North Carolinians want to know more about the food on their plates. This panel discussed the importance of consumer choice in the marketplace including organic and conventionally grown foods, and the use of science and biotechnology in food production.

Our expert panelists addressed health and safety concerns related to the foods we eat, how food supplies are shaped by consumer demand and how interested consumers can learn more.


P & S Farms is owned jointly by Bo, his wife Missy, and his parents. They grow 2,300 acres of row crops (corn, wheat and soybeans). They also have six swine finishing floors on contract (approximately 10,000 hogs annually) and have 60 brood cows.

They also grow 2.5 acres of strawberries and 4 acres of sweet corn that are sold at their own roadside market. Bo represents the sixth generation to farm some of their land.

“We have adopted numerous conservation practices ranging from 100% no-till, variable rate fertilizer applications, variable rate planting, prescribed burning of forest lands and leaving field borders for the wildlife.

We also utilize soil moisture readings to schedule irrigation cycles, and have partnered with NRCS and N.C. State University on a pilot program comparing water usage and yields from sub-surface drip irrigation and center pivot irrigation. We have been named N.C.’s Conservation Farm Family of the Year for 2012 by NRCS.”

TOMMY PORTER, Carrabus County NC

Tommy Porter of Mt. Pleasant NC, participated in the second panel entitled “Who is My Farmer?”

Agriculture and agribusiness represent the largest segment of our state’s economy, but most of our population is generations removed from the family farm. Food Dialogues: North Carolina educated consumers about where their food comes from, and the people who produce it.

This panel focused on farming in North Carolina, why many farms look and operate much differently than they did just 30 years ago, and the complexity of the food production process. Panelists also answered questions regarding modern animal care practices, and the balance between responsible, environmentally friendly farming and our farmer’s efforts to feed your family and families around the world.


Tommy and his wife Vicky operate a 900 acre farm near Mt. Pleasant NC in Cabarrus County. They raise cattle, hogs, and chickens and have won numerous environmental and conservation awards for their farm practices.

Over many years in operation, they have been recognized as the Conservation Farm Family of the Year, the National Environmental Stewardship Award for Poultry on two occasions, the NC Outstanding Pork Producer, and the Sunbelt Expo Farmer of the Year. They also showcase their farm through agri-tourism by hosting weddings, farm tours, and other special events.


To hear SFN Today’s coverage of the Food Dialogues click on a story below:

NC Faces of Agriculture Farmer Speaks at Food Dialogues

boAt the recent United States Farmers and Ranchers Alliance Food Dialogues event in Raleigh, USFRA Faces of Agriculture Bo Stone of Cabarrus County, NC spoke with Southern Farm Network’s Bob Midles about the event, and the commonalities he’s found at Food Dialogue events across the country:


 NC Livestock Producer Participates in Food Dialogues

tommyAt the recent Food Dialogues event held in Raleigh, the North Carolina Animal Ag Alliance invited livestock producer Tommy Porter, Porter Farms in Cabarrus County, NC to be a panelist speaking on food animal care on the farm. Porter spoke with SFN’s Bob Midles about the event:


Raleigh Hosts Regional Food Dialogues Event

logoRaleigh hosted a regional Food Dialogues event co-sponsored by the United States Farmers & Ranchers Alliance and the North Carolina Animal Ag Coalition.

North Carolina hog and row crop farmer Bo Stone, from Rowland was named a “Faces of Agriculture” by USFRA earlier this year and was a panelist at Thursday’s Food Dialogues. Stone spent a few minutes with Southern Farm Network’s Bob Midles:



*Logo Courtesy of The Food Dialogues