Conversations to connect the farm gate & consumer plate

The advent of social media has brought the diversity of food opinions to clear light. I listen and participate in hundreds of conversations daily with people around the world. It’s beneficial to converse about food, its’ origins, the people who produce it and how the agrifood system works. It’s also immensely frustrating to see how polarizing food and farming have become. (more…)

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The University of Wisconsin – Madison employed author and journalist Michael Pollan to speak about “In Defense of Food”  last week, as a follow-up to the  book’s highly controversial selection as the first literature on the “Go Big Read” university-wide reading list. According to Feedstuffs, Pollan received $25,000 for his appearance. Does this figure seem more than a little ironic when dairy farmers are losing roughly 50 cents for each gallon of milk they produce? (more…)

Connecting_People

Harvest is rapidly approaching, a season filled with measurements of a farmer’s success. Agriculture needs to look at yields in areas beyond the combines and choppers. One of those needing yield improvement is consumer understanding of agriculture. I’d encourage you to look at the millions of opportunities in social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Ning, et al) as a critical tool in improving perception measurements about the agrifood business. Why? (more…)

Choices for Food & Farming

Do you believe your farm and food choices are being limited? Some activists raise a lot of money to remove choices at both ends of the food chain.

Choice. It’s fundamental to citizens of developed countries, yet increasingly taken for granted – and threatened. I learned the real value of choice while working with Ukrainians after the communist regime, learning about the control of Egyptian government and seeing the unimaginable poverty of millions in South African squatter camps. When free will is removed from a society and people are collectively forced to bend to the will of “leaders” – choice is no longer an option. (more…)

“Industrial agriculture” and “factory farming” are terms used with increasing frequency, thanks to activists on a rampage to put food production in the worst light possible  to further their own agendas.  What is a factory farm?  How do you define one?  And, WHO is responsible for defining that?  (more…)

Michael Pollan of the New York Times and author of In Defense of Food, has gained a passionate following.  Many in our business don’t buy that Pollan’s in touch with modern agriculture.  He’s working on a new, likely very profitable book, and wants reader input on food rules. “In recent years, we’ve deferred to the voices of science and industry when it comes to eating, yet often their advice has served us poorly…” (more…)

    Nearly 700,000 children went hungry in the U.S. last year.  One in eight people in this nation struggled to feed themselves adequately.  Both of those startling facts, cited in an NBC report, came before the bottom fell out of the economy.  USDA indicates 12.2% of our population “didn’t have the money or assistance to get enough food to maintain active,  healthy lives.” (more…)