Cindy Zimmerman

One of the new exhibitors at the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) 2017 Annual Convention & IDEAg Trade Show in Phoenix this week was the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), a group that AFBF was instrumental in creating five years ago.

USFRA Senior Manager for Affiliate Relations and Ag Communications Paul Spooner chatted with Farm Bureau members at the meeting about the latest programs they have been developing to tell the story of farming and ranching to the general public, including their SMART farming concept which got some attention last week at CES – the largest consumer electronics show in the world, with about 175,000 attendees.

“Usually agriculture isn’t represented at the Consumer Electronics Show,” said Spooner. “So we talked to these consumers and tech reporters about some of the smart things that we’re doing on today’s farms and ranchers, ranging from GPS and GMOs to animal nutrition trackers.”

USFRA is also excited about some additions this year to the Discovering Farmland program, which was launched in November 2015. “What’s next for us is digital exploration in our interactive lesson plans,” said Spooner. “Students are able to go to our website when they’re in a grocery store and they are able to look at different food product labeling claims.” Those would include non-GMO, organic, antibiotic free, etc. “It’s a way for them to learn more about the way their food is raised,” he added.

Learn more in this interview: Interview with Paul Spooner, USFRA

2017 AFBF Annual Meeting Photos