A group of agricultural organizations came together to develop the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance in 2011 – which now consists of more than 80 farmer and rancher-led organizations and agricultural partners. The main goal of USFRA is to engage consumers in dialogues about how their food is grown and raised.
USFRA Board Member Lisa Lunz says many consumers just want to have their questions recognized and answered. The four biggest topics are biotechnology, antibiotics, hormones and pesticides – according to Lunz – who says it’s time for producers to step up, talk about these issues and answer consumer questions.
“They want more information. Identifying that is the challenge. You can say you want more but what do you really want. That is hard to know. We just have to be transparent in what we do and answer questions. I don’t think its necessarily on the food label, but its just the information that is available. There seems to be a lot of misinformation out there. Agriculture needs to have a voice in these conversations.”
USFRA recently conducted a consumer survey on the issue of transparency in food…
“They want to make sure they are consuming a safe product and they are concerned about health. In ag, we get bogged down in the science and the logic of things. Consumers don’t like that science, they are tied to other things and a communication gap can occur. We need to connect to them.”
Lunz says producers should take any and every opportunity to have conversations with consumers. She encourages farmers and ranchers to visit Food Dialogues (www.fooddialogues.com ) for more information and resources to help them connect with their consumers.