GMO Labeling Bill Seen as “Step to Restoring Sanity”

cfsafFarm and commodity groups are throwing their support behind a new bill that is hoped to end some of the craziness over food labeling in this country. The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food, which includes the likes of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), the American Soybean Association (ASA), and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), as well as more than 30 other groups, praised the bipartisan bill from Reps. Mike Pompeo and G.K. Butterfield, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, which is designed to establish a federal labeling standard for food and beverage products made with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs).

“The introduction of the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act was an important first step to restoring sanity to America’s food labeling laws,” said Martin Barbre, President, NCGA. “GMOs are perfectly safe and America’s farmers rely on this proven technology to protect our crops from insects, weeds and drought.”

Supporters believe the bill would help eliminate confusion among consumers and give those consumers better confidence in what they buy.

“This bill is a commonsense, science-based approach to an issue we realize is close to the hearts and minds of so many consumers,” said Iowa farmer and ASA President Ray Gaesser. “Americans want to know that their food is safe, and the solutions proposed in this bill will ensure that they have that information.”

Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman says the measure makes clear that the Food and Drug Administration will be the Nation’s foremost authority on the use and labeling of foods containing GMOs and would eliminate a patchwork of state regulations across the country.

“The diversity of innovative options farmers and ranchers have in regard to how they grow our food is one of the reasons U.S. consumers enjoy a wide variety of foods that are also among the most affordable in the world.”

Other highlights of the bill include ensuring the FDA conducts safety reviews and providing better information and consistency for consumers.

Tour de Fresh Launches Official Website

CG-Tour-de-Fresh-Logo-CMYK-Transparent (4)Organizers of the inaugural 2014 Tour de Fresh are happy to announce the launch of the official website. Donations can now be made through the website to support the event’s riders and benefit the United Fresh Produce Association’s Let’s Move Salad Bars to Midwest Schools campaign. Each participant aims to raise enough money to fund one salad bar for his or her selected school, for a grand total of close to $120,000 for the campaign.

This collaborative effort will bring together 40 fresh produce industry members to cycle 275 miles between Carmel, CA and Anaheim, CA over the four days leading up to the 2014 PMA Fresh Summit Convention and Expo.

“We are extremely pleased by the enthusiastic response we have received from all corners of the industry,” said Brock Nemecek, event participant and Account Manager at DMA Solutions. “Originally we had planned for 30 riders, but we had to increase this number due to the overwhelmingly positive support.”

In addition to the funds that will be raised for selected schools, the Tour de Fresh has also become a great promotional opportunity for participants and sponsoring companies. With a multi-pronged public relations plan, including outreach to the local media in communities benefitting from the Tour, the fresh produce industry’s passion for this cause has never been more apparent.

“It’s exciting to step out of our day-to-day business roles and not only get outside and have some fun with our industry colleagues, but also give back to a deserving community,” said Chris Ford, Vice President of Sutherland Produce, riding for The Dearborn Academy in Dearborn, Michigan.

“We saw partnering with Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools as a great chance for our industry to increase accessibility to the fresh products we are so passionate about,” said Cindy Jewell, Director of Marketing at California Giant Berry Farms. “By providing funds for salad bars in at least 40 schools, we are encouraging these children to develop healthy eating habits that can last a lifetime.”

While sponsorship opportunities and the rider roster are both full, there are still many avenues for involvement. In addition, The Official Tour de Fresh Training Guide is available for download on the website. This guide will help you prepare for your next race or ride, perhaps even the 2015 Tour de Fresh.

“We’re thrilled that the Tour de Fresh sponsors and riders have chosen to support the United Fresh Foundation and our work to bring more salad bars to schools,” said United President & CEO Tom Stenzel. “With over 3,400 salad bars donated to date, the Lets Move Salad Bars to Schools campaign is making a huge difference in schools across the country.”

Agribusiness & Food World Forum in Cape Town

ifamaThe International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA) and The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) are partnering to convene the Agribusiness and Food World Forum in Cape Town, South Africa on June 17-19, 2014. Framed by three overarching themes – The Talent Factor, Noble Ambition of Feeding the World, and Africa Agribusiness’ Age of Opportunity, the Forum will bring together over 500 multi-sector leaders representing over 30 countries. Participants will discuss current and new models for raising the professionalism of agribusiness and developing a sustained talent pipeline to responsibly feed the world, today and in the future.

“Each year, the IFAMA World Forum is a highly anticipated event. We are excited to partner with The Corporate Council on Africa this year in order to increase participation from the private sector and draw on CCA’s expertise in the African agribusiness sector,” says Don Vondriska, Executive Director of IFAMA.

“Agriculture and agribusiness are projected to grow from $313 billion USD today to $1 trillion USD in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030,” says Stephen Hayes, President and CEO of CCA. “With this projected growth and Africa’s agricultural sector employing at least 65 percent of the continent’s labor force, IFAMA’s partnership with CCA to bring its annual World Forum to Africa is a significant contribution to strengthening agribusiness on the continent.”

More than 60 industry leaders will speak at the Forum on topics ranging from entrepreneurship to transformative technologies. In addition to workshops and plenaries tailored to the private sector and NGOs, the Forum will also include a 2-day, research-based symposium for academic scholars; a student case competition; and a pan-African trade exposition of agribusinesses operating successfully across Africa.

“People feed the world. And as agribusiness leaders, it is our responsibility to develop future generations of talent passionate about creating and implementing solutions that will ensure we can overcome the food security challenges in Africa and around the world,” said Thad Simons, President and CEO of Novus International, President of the IFAMA board of directors, and a CCA board member.

Hot Dogs Remain Top Dog For MLB Fans

79543It’s a love affair that has spanned generations and baseball fans will once again make hot dogs their number one choice at the ballparks this summer. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) estimates that fans will eat a whopping 21,357,316 hot dogs and 5,508,887 sausages during the 2014 Major League season, enough hot dogs to stretch from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles to Wrigley Field in Chicago.

“When it comes to the food of choice at baseball games nothing cuts the mustard quite like hot dogs and sausages,” said Eric Mittenthal, NHDSC vice president of public affairs. “It’s a tradition that fans relish, and despite growing options at concessions, they keep coming back for their old favorite.”

This year’s total includes a new single season record for most hot dogs at one stadium as the Los Angeles Dodgers anticipate fans will consume 3,077,537 hot dogs, a jump of more than 800,000 hot dogs from last year. That is enough to round the bases at Dodger Stadium 4,274 times and based on last year’s attendance, means if everyone had just one, 82 percent of fans at every Dodger home game will eat a hot dog. Continue reading

MorganMyers Launches Digital Food IQ Quiz

morgan_myersFor more than 30 years, MorganMyers has built a world-class reputation for building, protecting and promoting brands that help feed the world. The agency’s commitment to working with outstanding food and agriculture companies has given it the chance to work with some great brands over the years. So, naturally, the agency wanted to show solidarity with, and raise awareness for, the agriculture industry by doing something special on National Agriculture Day.

To celebrate, MorganMyers has launched a digital Food IQ Quiz that is designed to raise awareness of some interesting information surrounding food and the agriculture industry.

“This has been a passion project for the team at MM,” said Tim Oliver, MorganMyers president. “Even though our staff is made up of some of the savviest people in agri-marketing, we all learn new and surprising things every day and we wanted to share some of the most interesting things with others.”

Norman Borlaug Statue Installed Today

Norman Borlaug StatueDr. Norman E. Borlaug’s statue was installed today at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on what would have been the great agricultural scientist’s 100th birthday. The leadership of the United States Congress, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Governor Terry E. Branstad of Borlaug’s home state of Iowa, and Amb. Kenneth M. Quinn, who chaired the Borlaug Statue Committee, were all part of the ceremony.

Borlaug dedicated his life to breeding better varieties of wheat, and worked with farmers, scientists, politicians and others to improve agricultural methods and policies to alleviate hunger and malnutrition worldwide. His achievements earned him recognition as “Father of the Green Revolution” and the distinction of being the only American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal and the National Medal of Science.

The Borlaug statue was created by Benjamin Victor.

Chuck was there and will have lots of photos from today’s event which he’ll upload as soon as he can and add the link here.

Post Update: You can find all of Chuck’s photos here: Borlaug Statue Unveiling Photo Album

Listen to the statue unveiling ceremony here:Unveiling Ceremony of Dr. Norman Borlaug Statue

Coverage of National Ag Day is sponsored by BCS Communications

Gators Luv Pork!

This is breaking news!

The Pork Checkoff has just released
the results of a nationwide competition to discover which state has the most #PorkLUV – and Florida wins!

After sharing more than 2,400 declarations, 30,000 fresh pork meals will be donated and divided among food banks within the state. North Carolina and New York were close behind, and with more than 17,400 total shares from coast to coast, it’s obvious that America’s passion for pork is hot.

Where did your state rank?


Best Food Facts Web Widget Available

The Center for Food Integrity has created a new widget that can be used on any website to help people get answers to food questions. You can see how one version of the widget looks at the bottom of this post. I just submitted one about roast beef and got this immediate answer. I’ll update this post when I get the final answer.

Thank you for submitting a question to Best Food Facts! Rest assured, we’re working on finding the right expert to answer your question. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can!
In the meantime, see what others are asking:

Got Protein?
Partaking in the Power of Protein
Future of food – 3-D Printing

Post Update: The answer to my question.

Good morning, Chuck,

Thanks for the inquiry on Best Food Facts! When cooking roast beef, be sure to heat to an internal temperature of 145°F (don’t forget to use your meat thermometer). And since grilling season is just around the corner (we hope!), check out these grilling tips as well: How do I Grill It Safely?

If there are additional questions, please let us know – we’re happy to help!

Best regards and healthy eating,

Here’s more information about the widget.

Websites looking to help answer consumers’ questions about food now have access to a new widget from that allows readers to submit questions from their sites directly to experts who provide credible and balanced information. features more than 150 university-based food system experts who have done the research and serve up unbiased answers in blogs, infographics, podcasts and videos on all things food.

“Today’s consumers are asking more questions about food: Is organic healthier? Should I eat GM foods? Are there antibiotics in my meat?” said Roxi Beck with Best Food Facts. “They want balanced information to make informed choices. With the new widget, we’re providing organizations, companies, associations, bloggers and others with a tool their readers can use to access quality information.”

Created by The Center for Food Integrity, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to build consumer trust and confidence in today’s food system, Best Food Facts aggressively tracks trending topics and solicits questions from readers – providing prompt expert feedback on issues in the news. Anyone can submit questions and receive expert responses within as few as 24 hours.

The new Best Food Facts widget can be embedded on websites in both horizontal and vertical formats allowing readers to submit questions directly to Instructions to embed the widget can be found at For additional information, contact Roxi Beck at

Social Media Farmer of the Year Nominations Needed

ZimmCast 432Do you have a favorite farmer using social media? Are you really engaged in the online conversation yourself? Then get your nomination in for the first Social Media Farmer of the Year Award.

Social Media Farm of the Year AwardThis award program, which AgWired is a sponsor of, is being conducted by Phil Lempert, Food Nutrition & Science. You might know Phil as the Supermarket Guru. We talked about the award program and it’s that conversation I’m sharing in this week’s program. The award winner will be receiving a number of prizes which are still being finalized but include an expense paid trip to Chicago for the FMI Connect to receive the award. Sponsorships of the award are also still available.

The new award recognizes farmers who have incorporated social media, digital media and internet strategies to achieve their business objectives including growing revenue, sharing information for more effective farming practices, and promoting positive awareness of the industry.

Nominations for the award are now being accepted. Farmers can nominate themselves or a colleague The deadline for nominations is March 31, 2014. The winner will be presented with a trophy and other prizes at the FMI Connect show in Chicago on June 11, 2014.

“Social media has provided farmers with a unique opportunity to communicate directly with other farmers, customers and consumers,” says Phil Lempert, editor of Food Nutrition & Science. “This award will honor their innovation and outstanding efforts that not only results in a greater person-to-person dialogue, but elevation of the industry as a whole.”

In our conversation I asked Phil to tell us what he sees as some current trends in the supermarket business. Not surprisingly, one of them is the rapid change in technology.

You can listen to this week’s program here. Social Media Farmer of Year Award

Thanks to our ZimmCast sponsor, GROWMARK, locally owned, globally strong, for their support.

Fresh Produce Sales Up in 2013

unitedfresh-logoUnited Fresh Produce Association released the 2013 Year in Review edition of the FreshFacts® on Retail report, which examines overall retail trends in produce for the past year. The report shows that during 2013, the produce department averaged more than $47,000 per week per store, which was up 4.8 percent over the previous year.

The FreshFacts® on Retail report, produced in partnership with the Nielsen Perishables Group and sponsored by Del Monte Fresh Produce, measures retail price and sales trends for the top 10 fruit and vegetable commodities, as well as value-added, organic and other produce categories.

Highlights of this “Year in Review” report include:
Over the past year, all of the top 10 fruits posted volume increases
– Fruits average weekly dollar sales increased 4.5 percent versus 2012
– All of the top 10 vegetables posted increases in weekly dollar sales
– Among value-added fruit categories, value-added fruit and fresh-cut fruit both posted increases in weekly dollar sales
– Snacking value-added vegetables posted an increase of 15 percent in weekly dollar sales
– Avocados posted the highest growth in the fruit category, with dollar sales increasing 11.7 percent and volume increasing10.3 percent
– Packaged salad and tomatoes, the two top-selling vegetable categories in 2013, increased dollar sales 6.7 percent and 3.4 percent

This quarters’ FreshFacts® report also features a spotlight on organic produce. Recent trends show that even with increases in retail prices, volume sales continue to grow in all organic fruit and vegetable categories. The growing demand for organic produce resulted in dollar and volume increase, roughly 20 percent for both organic fruits and vegetables overall.

20,000 Meals Packaged by FFA Members at Gin Show

farm-gin-14-ffa-food-bankIn just a short amount of time these FFA students packaged 20,000 nutritious meals for the Mid-South Food Bank during the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show held in Memphis, TN.

This doubles the number of meals put together last year. The endeavor was part of an outreach program by Kids Care.

The Mid-South Food Bank was founded 1981 and is a member of Feeding America, the national network of food banks. There mission is to: To fight hunger through the efficient collection and distribution of wholesome food, and through education and advocacy. The non-profit focuses on feeding children, families and seniors throughout the Mid-South area.

Tim Price, Mid-South Farm & Gin Show Manager said, “I think it is important for FFA kids to learn that the food you produce really goes someplace, it goes to real people. This is an investment from two standpoints. Number one is the food that goes into this food bank as a result of this packaging effort is nutritionally balanced with vitamins and minerals in it. I think it is one of the highest quality foods for it’s purpose that’s in the food bank pantry. Secondly, they get to see where it goes. It’s a hands-on experience and it’s amazing to see in such a short amount of time how many packages can be done.”

2014 Mid-South Farm & Gin Show Photo Album

Coverage is sponsored by FMC

Farm Bureau Kicks Off ‘Our Food Link’ Program

ourFoodLinkLogoFarmer and rancher members of Farm Bureau from around the country officially kicked off the organization’s new “Our Food Link” program in conjunction with a conference for state leaders of Women’s Leadership and Promotion & Education programs.

“Our Food Link is a year-round program that county and state Farm Bureaus use to provide consumers of all ages and backgrounds with information about today’s agriculture,” explained Terry Gilbert, a Kentucky farmer and chair of the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee (AFBWLC).

“People want to know where their food comes from and who is growing or raising it,” Gilbert said. “Helping people connect with sources of clothing, food, shelter and energy in their communities is the foundation of this multi-faced new program,” she said.

ourFoodLink-1Our Food Link activities range from outreach at supermarkets or farmers’ markets to hosting interactive booths at community events, speaking with lawmakers and neighbors about food and visiting classrooms to help students understand agricultural topics. Other program ideas include: an Adopt-a-Farmer program, fun runs, garden projects and “Zest ’n Zing” or other foodie events. Our Food Link activities may also include the collection of food and monetary donations for Ronald McDonald House Charities or other charities.

About 15 Farm Bureau members shopped for and donated food to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington, D.C., this week. The connection between Farm Bureau and Ronald McDonald House Charities was forged in the mid-1990s. Since then, Farm Bureau members have donated more than $3 million in food and monetary contributions to Ronald McDonald Houses and other charities.

The Our Food Link planning toolkit and publicity tools may be downloaded here.

Bayer Brings in Bloggers for Panel

bayer-aif14-blogger-panelDuring the Ag Issues Forum ahead of Commodity Classic last week, Bayer Crop Science brought in a panel of bloggers for a session called “Welcome to MY World: Consumers and Growers Seek Common Ground,” a conversation between three bloggers. The panel answered questions such as “What do your followers want to hear, how are they getting their information, and how should we start communicating with them?” The three panelist all agreed that biotechnology is a very hot topic right now, and shared how they each approach the topic with their followers.

The panelists included:

Mommy blogger Annie Schultz, Mama Dweeb – Annie is a lifelong Kansas resident who started her blog in 2009 as a stay-at-home mom to share inspiration, product reviews, and family stories. Roles have changed a bit in their home as Annie now works outside of the home and her husband, Josh is in the role of stay-at-home dad to their three children.

Farm wife blogger Emily Webel, Confessions of a Farm Wife – From central Illinois, Emily and her husband Joe have four children in their remodeled farm house raising children, dairy cows and crops. Husband Joe even gets in on the blogging by taking photos of the birthing process or harvest.

Farmer blogger Brian Scott, The Farmer’s Life/CNN’s Eatocracy
– Brian is a 4th generation farmer from Northwest Indiana that farms about 2100 acres with his dad and grandfather. He utilizes social media to get his message out about agriculture and farming.

You can listen to Chuck’s interview with Brian Scott here: Interview with Farmer blogger Brian Scott

bayer-issues-button2014 Bayer CropScience Ag Issues Forum Photos

Exciting Opportunities in Agriculture

David HollinrakeJust what does the world want from us? Sounds like a lot more food. This theme was consistently brought up in a lot of sessions during the Bayer CropScience Ag Issues Forum last week.

One of our opening speakers was David Hollinrake, vice president, ACO Marketing, Bayer CropScience LP. He told me, “The main theme of this week was really all about the exciting possibilities that exist in agriculture. We in the farming community are faced with a daunting task and that is to feed 9.6 billion people by the year 2050.” Putting that into perspective we’ve got about 7.5 billion today. There is a lot of work to do!

In David’s stage remarks he challenged us to think about agriculture not only in a traditional way but in a potential way of what it can be. He says agriculture is sexy. Yeah, I agree with that. Dave says we need exciting new technologies and a to foster a spirit of collaboration and cooperation. We also need passionate young people to come into the field.

You can listen to David’s remarks here: David Hollinrake Remarks

You can listen to my interview with David here: Interview with David Hollinrake

bayer-issues-buttonThe Bayer CropScience Ag Issues Forum brings together a broad audience of agricultural journalists to learn about and discuss current issues. This year’s theme is “What the World Needs.” Look for more stories from this year’s event coming soon.

2014 Bayer CropScience Ag Issues Forum Photos

Corn Growers Talk Priorities at Commodity Classic

ncga1Members of the National Corn Growers Association are at Commodity Classic in full force this year, as part the more than 7,000+ corn, wheat, soybean and sorghum growers who have come to San Antonio. President of NCGA, Martin Barbre, a farmer from Illinois, outlined some of his group’s priorities in this coming year, including their work with a couple of partnerships, the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food and the Soil Health Partnership.

“The goal of the [Coalition for Safe Affordable Food] is to seek a federal solution that would establish standards for the safety and labeling of food and beverage and products made with biotech ingredients,” pointing out that GMO issues have been hot in the last few years, and a hodge podge of state regulations would only cloud the issue for producers and consumers. “If we get a myriad, a patchwork of state laws, how would I as a corn grower in Illinois if I’m shipping corn out to Indiana or down the Mississippi certify [my crop].”

The Soil Health Partnership has the support of Monsanto and the Walton Family Foundation and relies on a science advisory council made up of government and university experts as well as environmental groups. “These are just examples of many of the coalitions we’ve been able to work on.”

Another big topic for the corn growers is the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), particularly what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to reduce the amount of corn-based ethanol to be mixed into the Nation’s fuel supply. Barbre said he’s proud of the outpouring of support his NCGA members have given in the form of thousands of calls and letters to the EPA and White House to reverse what they see as bad proposal.

“We’ve done our part so far. It’s an uphill battle, but we’ll keep our pressure on the Administration,” he said.

The new Farm Bill was welcomed by the NCGA, with Barbre calling it a law that makes sense, focusing help for growers when they need it, helping conservation efforts, saving taxpayers’ dollars and feeding the hungry.

Listen to more of Barbre’s remarks here: NCGA Press Conference with Martin Barbre

2014 Commodity Classic Photos

Bloggers Bite Back at Chipotle

We really have tried to ignore the ignorant Chipotle “TV series” aimed at making farmers and ranchers out to be bad guys, since they simply thrive on the displeasure they cause the traditional agriculture industry. But it is nice to see the on-line ag community biting back.

chip-farmedCorn Commentary bloggess Cathryn Wojcicki has done a couple of posts about how CommonGround volunteers have been answering the call to explain why they are farmed but not dangerous.

Iowa farmer Steph Essick disputed Chipotle’s claim that the series is intended to make people “more curious about their food and where it comes from.”

From the Banks of Squaw Creek, Katie Olthoff’s wrote about how much it hurts when a company like Chipotle tells lies about her family’s “baby” – their turkey farm – and posted a video.

Iowa State University student and farm girl Nicole Patterson made a list of six things Chipotle doesn’t want you to know about farming, and Maryland farmer and registered dietitian Jennie Schmidt posted myths and facts.

Keep biting back, folks and really hit them where it hurts – at the cash register. Chipotle has proven itself to be one of the most anti-American agriculture food chains in the country today – serving up plates of lies and deceit to the unsuspecting public. Don’t eat there and tell your friends to pass them up as well – and tell them the truth about agriculture.

Locally Grown Harvest Restaurant

Harvest LouisvilleThere’s a “locally grown” restaurant in Louisville, KY. It’s Harvest and it is good. During the National Farm Machinery Show the ZimmComm team ate supper there one night and met one of the owners. They source much of the food they serve from local farmers and you can read about them on the wall.

We are exceptionally proud of our reputation for being one of the most celebrated restaurants in Louisville Kentucky, situated in the vibrant Downtown NuLu arts district of East Market Street, just 5 minutes from downtown .

Our mission is to serve outstanding, regionally inspired, seasonal “farm-to-table” cuisine. 80% of our ingredients are sourced locally from within a 100-mile radius and many of our foods are baked, cured, smoked and preserved in-house.

Ivor Chodkowski and partners Jim McArthur, and brothers Peter and Patrick Kuhl gathered not just an extraordinarily talented team but also a group of passionate and community-minded investors to grown their downtown Louisville restaurant.

So, if you’re looking for something that’s locally grown and owned in Louisville, check this one out.

National Farm Machinery Show Photo Album

Coverage of the National Farm Machinery Show is sponsored by FMC and New Holland Agriculture

Elanco: Enough is Enough in Food Security Debate

wfp13-jeff1Farmers need to be able to access and use the latest food production technology to make sure a projected world population of 9 billion by the year 2050 has enough to eat. In a report titled “Enough: The fight for a food secure tomorrow,” from animal health company Elanco, company president Jeff Simmons points out that the biggest growth in population will happen in the next few years, so innovative solutions are needed now.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reports we’ll need 60 percent more meat, milk and eggs to meet demand by 2050. But, we’re already overusing the Earth’s resources; it currently takes 1.5 years to regenerate 1 year of resource use, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

“We are currently on the fast track to a crisis and a global shortage of basic foods such as meat, milk and eggs. For example, today, we are meeting global milk demand primarily by adding cows. On this path, we will need 40 million more dairy cows in order to meet consumer demand for dairy products in 2050. This is simply not sustainable,” Simmons said.

“But alternatives exist. We have — either available right now or in the pipeline — the technology that would enable us to meet consumer demand in 2050. But we need to give farmers the ability to access and utilize this technology and ensure that proven innovation and farm practices which maintain health and productivity are available for use,” Simmons continued.

Simmons has many food security experts on his side, including organizations such as Heifer International. More about how you can get involved in the movement is available at

#PorkLuv Share-a-Thon

#PorkLuvDo you have pork love? If so, share it. How? By using the #PorkLUV hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It can be good for your state since the Pork Checkoff is running a contest to feed hungry people.

Pork fans who share their #PorkLUV will be helping their state compete for a food bank donation of 30,000 meals of fresh pork. The state that shares the most #PorkLUV from February 14 to March 7 will receive the pork, divided amongst food banks throughout the state. In addition to supporting the cause, everyone who shares a little #PorkLUV will receive a $1-off fresh pork coupon. 1

“#PorkLUV is all about giving our fans a chance to declare their passion and share it among friends and family – all in the name of a great cause,” said Randy Brown, vice chair of the Pork Checkoff Domestic Marketing committee and a farmer from Nevada, Ohio.

Share the #PorkLUV

Sharing your #PorkLUV is as easy as visiting or the Pork Be inspired Facebook page. Once there, simply:

· Click “Share your #PorkLUV”
· Select your favorite pork cut
· “Share” the love to add your #PorkLUV to the interactive map

Food Dialogues February 21

USFRAIt is almost time for another USFRA Food Dialogues discussion. This one will be moderated by Carolyn O’Neil, the author of “Slim Down South Cookbook” and a nutrition advisor to The subject is “Nutrition: Who Is Shaping America’s Eating Habits?” The event will take place as part of the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum on February 21, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST.

The panel will address terms such as organic, conventional, locally grown, sustainably grown and natural as they relate to consumers making healthy food choices.


Dr. Roger Clemens, Chief Scientific Officer, Horn and Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, USC School of Pharmacy, Los Angeles, Calif.

Dennis Derryck, President and Founder, Corbin Hill Farms, New York, NY

Bob Haselwood, Farmer, Haselwood Farms, Berryton, Kan.

Dr. Craig Rowles, Partner and General Manager, Elite Pork Partnership, LLP, Carroll, Iowa

Barbara Ruhs, MS, RD, LDN, Supermarket Health & Nutrition Expert, Phoenix, Ariz.

Dr. Janey Thornton, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer, USDA, Washington, D.C.

The event will be streamed live on