Farmland in the Big Apple

Director James Moll (3rd from left) and film editor Tim Calandrello pose with farmers David Loberg, Leighton Cooley, Sutton Morgan, Ryan Veldhuizen and Brad Bellah attend the Private New York Premiere of "Farmland" during the Tribeca Film Festival (Getty Images)

Director James Moll (3rd from left) and film editor Tim Calandrello pose with farmers David Loberg, Leighton Cooley, Sutton Morgan, Ryan Veldhuizen and Brad Bellah attend the Private New York Premiere of “Farmland” during the Tribeca Film Festival (Getty Images)

Farmland the movie was screened last night at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.

The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), which has been actively involved in promoting the film across the country, reports that the premiere of Farmland in the Big Apple was a huge success with two packed theaters screening the film.

In an age where most Americans have not stepped foot on a farm or ranch or even talked to those who grow and raise the food we eat, Farmland takes an intimate look at the lives of six young farmers and ranchers, all of whom are now responsible for running their farm operation. Before the showing, director James Moll and the six farmers and ranchers involved in the film took a moment to host a press conference with ag media.

The featured farmers are:
Brad Bellah – 6th generation cattle rancher in Texas
Leighton Cooley – 4th generation poultry farmer in Georgia
David Loberg – 5th generation corn and bean farmer from Nebraska
Sutton Morgan – 4th generation vegetable grower in California
Ryan Veldhuizen – 5th generation hog farmer
Margaret Schlass – CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) grower in Pennsylvania

Ways you can support the film are by going to farmlandfilm.com and with hashtag #farmlandfilm. There’s a list of showings by state and you can also expect to see Farmland on your own television via OnDemand in the future.

You can listen to the press conference here: Farmland the movie New York press conference

Strong Sense of Optimism for Future of Farming

ag-day-14-seth Seth Pratt, a 5th generation cattle/livestock rancher and student at the University of Idaho, served as one of the panelists during USFRA’s latest Food Dialogues. Seth is a former National FFA Officer from Blackfoot, ID. and talked with Chuck after the dialogues to share his personal perspective on the next generation of America’s farmers and ranchers.

“Overall, there is a strong sense of optimism. We’ve got a burgeoning middle class across the entire globe that is pushing agriculture product demand in a way we haven’t seen. I think back to my father’s generation who came through college during the farm crisis of the 80′s and the experience he had in school as compared to the experience I now have. And while there may be less farmers overall those that are here today are excited, passionate and optimistic about the career they are beginning.”

During the dialogues, panelists discussed ways to bridge the gap between so many consumers who are at least twice removed from a family farming operation and how to limit the amount of misconceptions. Seth shared one simple idea is to invite people out to your farms and ranches. Let them see the equipment used and let them ask questions about how things are done. Another easy way Seth mentioned is the use of media and especially social media.

“There are two groups of young aspiring producers out there. The ones that say they would love to get back to the family farm or ranch and then there are those who can say they would love to begin. Reaching the needs of those two groups of students is different. Those going back to the farm know what it is like, they know the resources that are available. Those that are new maybe see more closed doors then they do opportunity. There are lots of opportunities provided through government programs administered through the USDA that do give a leg up to beginning producers.”

Seth goes on to say how important it is to connect these students interested in farming with current farmers. A mentor system would go a long way in informing them on the in’s and out’s of life as a farmer or rancher.

You can listen to Chuck’s complete interview with Seth here: Interview with Seth Pratt

Coverage of National Ag Day is sponsored by BCS Communications

Farm Movie Screenings Scheduled

Great American Wheat Harvest at Ag DayMovie screenings for The Great American Wheat Harvest have been scheduled and more will be.

The first one is April 2, 2014 in Lincoln, NE from 7-9pm which will be the kickoff of the “Heart of America Tour.” The location is The Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 313 N. 13th Street. An RSVP is required. Register at https://gawh-lincolnpremiere.eventbrite.com.

The second one will be held on Friday, April 4th in Scottsbluff, NE. This is a *Special Event* with the Nebraska Wheat Board Mobile Baking Unit. The location is The Midwest Theater, 1707 Broadway.

Friday Night Doors Open at 6:45 p.m. (MST). Come early for treats provided by the Nebraska Wheat Board; Special Introductions; Meet the Filmmaker, Conrad Weaver; and pick up your Free Movie Poster! Film begins about 8 p.m. (MST). Tickets are $5 for Members/Students, $7 for Non-members and may be purchased at the Midwest Theater box office.

Other showings include:
Sat., April 5: 7:30 p.m.
Sun., April 6: 1:30 p.m.

Farmland Movie Advance Screening

FarmlandNational Ag Day Activities was special this year because of of two great documentary films about farming. Last night it was a private advance screening of Farmland, directed by James Moll, with major support from USFRA. In the photo (l-r) is Randy Krotz, CEO, USFRA, James, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Bob Stallman, President of American Farm Bureau Federation. There were a lot of dignitaries on hand including two of the young farmers featured in the movie. Both Sec. Vilsack and Bob Stallman who is Chairman of USFRA made opening comments before we watched the movie. I spoke with Bob and James and you can listen to their comments below.

The movie gives you a very close and personal look into the lives of six very different types of young farmers who talk about the challenges of becoming farm owners/managers. There is no narration. The story is told completely by the farmers and the imagery of them at work. It is a real family story too and there are some very emotional scenes in the movie. If you haven’t been able to see it yet please do when you get a chance.

Farmland has a deal with D&E Entertainment for the film to first be distributed to 60 major market theaters beginning May 1. Keep an eye out for it in your area and think about calling your local theater to see if they would schedule it.

In case you’re wondering, the film features these farmers:

Leighton Cooley, Georgia
Brad Bellah – Texas
David Loberg – Nebraska
Sutton Morgan – California
Margaret Schlass – Pennsylvania
Ryan Veldhuizen – Minnesota

You can listen to my interview with the Bob here:Interview with Bob Stallman

You can listen to my interview with the James here:Interview with James Moll

You can find photos from all National Ag Day activities, including the Farmland premier, online here: 2014 Ag Day Photo Album

Coverage of National Ag Day is sponsored by BCS Communications

USFRA Next Generation of Farmers Panel

USFRA DialoguesOne of the National Ag Day activities taking place in Washington, DC was a USFRA afternoon panel discussion on “The Next Generation of America’s Farmers and Ranchers.” The panel was hosted by our good friend Sara Wyant.

The event featured very personal stories from young farmers and ranchers on the challenges they face in taking over their family business. They talked about what it means to take on this responsibility in today’s environment, including some of the business and perception challenges they face and their opinions on key issues. They also addressed the challenges and opportunities for the next generation of farmers, as well as steps that can be taken to inspire more people to become involved in agriculture.

The panelists included:

• Leighton Cooley, 4th generation poultry farmer and Farmland documentary subject, Roberta, Ga.

• Will Gilmer, 3rd generation dairy farmer and USFRA Faces of Farming and Ranching, Lamar County, Ala.

• Peter Liebhold, Curator, Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Washington, DC

• Joel Mathiowetz, Corn, soybean, pea and lamb farmer, Executive Director of Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation, Morgan, Minn.

• Seth Pratt, University of Idaho Agriculture student, Future Farmers of America, Blackfoot, Idaho

You can listen to the dialogue here:USFRA Next Generation Panel

You can find photos from all National Ag Day activities online here: 2014 Ag Day Photo Album

Coverage of National Ag Day is sponsored by BCS Communications

Randy Krotz Appointed CEO of USFRA

USFRACongratulations to our good friend Randy Krotz.

The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance® (USFRA®) announced that its board of directors has appointed Randy Krotz as chief executive officer, effective immediately. A recognized leader in the agribusiness community and active on his family farm in Kansas, Krotz joined USFRA as vice president of development in 2013 and most recently served as executive director.

classic14-krotz“U.S. agriculture is at an important crossroads, and with Randy’s decades of experience and relationships across the agricultural industry, he is the right person to cement USFRA’s role as the unifying voice of farmers and ranchers to consumer audiences,” Bob Stallman, chairman of USFRA and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said. “Randy’s deep background in food, farming and agribusiness will play a key role in further establishing USFRA as a thought leader on food issues and a guidepost for the next generation of farmers and ranchers.”

In 2013, the USFRA board set to create a long-term vision for the movement including structuring the alliance for new leadership. After a national search, USFRA board of directors decided to hire the organization’s first chief executive officer in its three-year history from within its own ranks. Since joining the organization, Krotz has helped build the national prominence of USFRA, with specific focus on consumer-facing initiatives such as its signature series The Food Dialogues® that provides a forum for open conversation around some of the most important food issues today. He has overseen day-to-day management and performance of USFRA focusing on organizational and staff management, as well as outreach to the agricultural industry.

Bayer Session on Year of Food and Farmers

One session at the Bayer Crop Science Ag Issues Forum last week called 2014 the “Year of Food and Farmers” talked about an upcoming National Geographic series and a documentary movie – both featuring agriculture.

bayer-aif14-dimickDennis Dimick, Executive editor, Environment for National Geographic, shared their exciting plans for the eight-month series focused on food and agriculture, beginning in May. Dimick spoke about our growing population and how our need for food is the single biggest threat to the environment that we face today. “There is a growing need to recreate the connection to the production side of where food comes from,” he said. Dimick says the series will include topics such as farming the sea, malnutrition, genetics and how diets have changed over the course of time.

You can listen to my interview with Dennis here: Interview with Dennis Dimick, National Geographic

classic14-krotzJoining the discussion with Dennis was Randy Krotz, executive director of U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, who talked about Farmland: The Movie and showed a couple of clips. The documentary offers first-hand glimpse into the lives of young farmers and ranchers, connecting the audience to real farmers’ stories of their high-risk/high-reward lifestyles. Randy says the movie is scheduled to be released this spring.

Listen to or download the discussion with Randy and Dennis here: Bayer Ag Issues Forum, National Geographic and USFRA

2014 Bayer CropScience Ag Issues Forum Photos

Classic Farmland Movie Stars

classic14-usfra-farmlandCommodity Classic went to the movies last week with a sneak preview of the feature length documentary “Farmland” which will debut later this month.

The media was allowed to watch, but not report on, the movie – but we are able to meet and talk with some of the stars who took part in a press conference at Classic with the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA). The guy in the middle here is not one of the stars, that’s USFRA Executive Director Randy Krotz – he just wishes he were as talented and good-looking as the farmers in the film!

The four pictured here, from left to right around Randy, are David Loberg of Nebraska, Ryan Veldhuizen of Minnesota, Leighton Cooley from Georgia, and Brad Bellah of Texas. Listen to them talk about themselves and their experiences with film director James Moll in the making of “Farmland.” – Farmland Movie Press Conference


2014 Commodity Classic Photos

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 BestFoodFacts.org. 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.

Panelists:

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 FoodDialogues.com.

Bridging the Gap Between Farmers and Consumers

USFRADelegates of the 2014 American Farm Bureau Federation Convention are a few of the lucky ones who get a sneak peak of the Farmland film. Directed by James Moll, USFRA is a huge sponsor of the documentary that takes you into the lives of farmers and ranchers across the county.

Randy Krotz, U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) talks about their support of the movie, Farmland.

“Farmland is the generational story of agriculture. The movement of a farm through a generation like we are all used to in agriculture. It’s a great look at beginning to understand the issues around agriculture and the separation between consumers and farmers that has happened over the last five or six generations.”

Randy is honest and knows an 80-minute film won’t change the minds of all viewers, but he hopes it will open their hearts and minds to new ideas and give a better understanding about the food they eat that is different then what they have been exposed to in the past.

USFRA continues to advocates for the entire agriculture community through their Food Dialogues that are held across the country. These events bring together differing opinions and provide a place for questions to be asked and experts to answer them. Their next Food Dialogue event is scheduled for next month at the USDA Ag Outlook Conference in Washington, D.C.

You can listen to Chucks interview with Randy here or watch it below: Interview with Randy Krotz

2014 AFBF Convention Photos

USFRA Update on Farmland Movie

nafb13-usfra-lunzConsumers want to see a face of where their food comes from and that is one thing the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) has tried to provide. USFRA was on-hand during NAFB’s Trade Talk and Cindy spoke with them about their desire to continually start the conversations about food and farming across the country.

Lisa Lunz, USFRA Board Member, has been involved with all aspects of the organization’s endeavors. She is a corn and soybean producer from Northeast Nebraska. Her involvement on the Nebraska Soybean board is what lead her to USFRA. In the short time USFRA has been in existence, Lisa is truly proud of the dialogue they have been able to start and the wide-spread conversations people are having about the food they eat and produce. She describes USFRA as a movement not an organization, because change doesn’t happen over night. The success of the Food Dialogues is a testament to the need for these conversations to take place globally.

“We need to acknowledge consumers questions, answer those questions and give them an opportunity to understand what we do.”

The latest USFRA outreach activity was the release of trailer and website for the new film Farmland. The documentary is a work in progress. Director James Moll, has interviewed, conducted research and is now almost ready to announce the families featured in the film. This winter the film will be finalized and sent to film festivals. The coveted national debut will come in March 2014. The film is supported by USFRA, but not a USFRA production.

“Part of the reason why we thought this project was so important was because there are a lot of documentaries out there about a lot of different subjects, but there is not one about the next generation of farming. I think they have found a great director, that is a great listener and wanted to learn more too. As he went out and interviewed these famers and ranchers he has had an opportunity to learn also. He is an award winning director and so it has given us a great opportunity to create something that hopefully we can use as an educational tool and something that will spark conversations about food.”

Listen to Cindy’s complete interview with Lisa here: Interview with Lisa Lunz, USFRA Board Member

2013 NAFB Convention Photo Album

Farmland – The Movie

USFRAAward-winning filmmaker James Moll has announced the release of his first trailer for the new film called “Farmland.”. The documentary chronicles the next generation of American farmers and ranchers from across the United States.

You can view the trailer and additional information about the film at farmlandfilm.com. Mark your calendars for Spring 2014 when the film is released for the public.

“I make documentaries because it’s a thrill to explore new topics and meet people that I might not otherwise cross paths with,” said Moll. “While making Farmland, I found myself immersed in a community of some of the most hard working, passionate people I’ve ever met. This film isn’t just about what it’s like to be a farmer, it’s about a way of life. It’s also about a subject that affects our lives daily.”

Most Americans have never stepped foot on a farm or ranch or even talked to the people who grow and raise the food we eat. Farmland will take an intimate look at the lives of farmers and ranchers in their ’20s, all of who are now responsible for running their farming business.

Through this film you’ll step inside the world of farming for a first-hand glimpse into the lives of young farmers and ranchers. Learn about their high-risk/high reward jobs and passion for a way of life that has been passed down from generation to generation, yet continues to evolve.

The film is being produced with the generous support of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance® (USFRA®)

Taking Responsibility for Growing Food

usfra-boston-13-luckeySoybean and pork farmer from Columbus, Nebraska, Bill Luckey, served as a panelist for the Boston Food Dialogues. His family farm includes 600 crop acres, cattle, sows and finishing hogs. Bill also serves on the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) Board of Directors and several committees. Bill is lucky that his kids are home running the combine so he was able to attend the event.

“I think we have got to get our word out to the consumers. What we do and why we do it. If you look at it, less than 2% of population are farmers. Over 98% are not in the agriculture business of farming, so they chose not to take the responsibility of growing of food. I accepted that responsibility of growing food and I’m proud of what I do. I am going to do the best I possibly can to raise the best, the healthiest, the safest food for not only my family but for the whole world.”

Bill doesn’t believe size matters. It’s simply people having a passion for the work they do. Bill went on to explain more about is hog operation.

“We utilize technology, whether it be in our buildings, in ventilation, in the feed program. A lot of people don’t understand how we use technology and one of the best things I tell people is if they want us to raise pigs the way we did 50 years ago, why don’t you go to a doctor who uses technology from 50 years ago to diagnose your diseases. We are always trying to improve and do the best thing for our animals, the community and the consumer.”

You can listen to Bill’s complete interview here: Interview with Bill Luckey

Boston Food Dialogues Photo Album

What Does the Consumer Want?

usfra-boston-13-renziIs big or small farming the future? Tough question, but the conversation was had and Lori Renzi, Vice President of Brand Strategy & Development at Charlie Baggs Culinary Innovations (CBCI) was one of the lucky panelists who got the chance to express her opinion and expertise during USFRA’s Boston Food Dialogues.

CBCI is a consulting practice for the global food industry that assists with flavor and menu development, nutritional assessments, brand strategy and more. Lori works with the direction of all strategic and marketing activities, as well as the development and the re-launch of the CBCI brand.

“I am here today because I am a marketing person, I am not a chef. I represent more what the consumer is thinking, how they get their information, how they receive it and what they do with it. From a farm size perspective right now people are so cynical and skeptical of anything big so you can’t really blame them for thinking big farm is bad. There just needs to be a lot of information to clarify what we are talking about in that area. I don’t think anyone would think that a farmer as a large farm is a bad thing. I think what they think is there is a farm being run by big business, big corporations, big government. They are going to perceive that as bad, because of their experiences. It is up to us to bridge those entities and get the right information to them.”

Lori said that many things said today were very interesting to her. The complexity of this conversation is huge. She believes her take away from the event was that we all need to understand more about the thought process in the farming system. The consumer wants to understand how the food is grown, made and processed in simple terms.

Listen to the complete interview with Lori here: Interview with Lori Renzi

Boston Food Dialogues Photo Album

Is Small Farms or Diversity the Answer?

usfra-boston-13-swansonUSFRA’s Boston Food Dialogues panelists came from the east and the west, represented the big and the small, work in agribusinesses and in small farming communities.

Michael Swanson, Agricultural Economist for Wells Fargo Bank NA, Minneapolis, Minnesota and Bruce Rominger, Rominger Brothers Farm, Winters, California were two panelists Chuck had the chance to speak with after the recent Boston Food Dialogues.

At Wells Fargo, Michael analyzes the impact of energy on agriculture, forecasting for key agricultural commodities, such as wheat, soybeans, corn and cotton, as well as livestock sectors such as cattle, dairy and hogs. Michael stated that he feels there is a strong demand for smaller farms and coming from the Midwest he said, “maybe we don’t appreciate it enough.”

“We go where the best technology takes us. We want the best solutions for the dollar. The consumers chooses and shouldn’t criticizes them one way or the other.”

usfra-boston-13-romingerBruce is a 5th generation farmer working along side his brother in a progressive, diversified family farm and ranch. They specialize in crops using organic and conventional techniques, including winegrapes, processing tomatoes, rice, wheat, corn, safflower, sunflower, onions, alfalfa and oat hay. Bruce agrees that small farms are a good thing, but feels the conversation led to a desire for diversity. He continued, “Small farms aren’t going to be viable in Nebraska. And where I am and the crops I grow and with the technology I use they aren’t very viable in our area either.”

“My brother and I own our farm and statistically we are a big farm, but we are a family farm. We are incorporated, does that make us a corporate farm? Technically yes, but we are 100% owned and managed by our family. To us this growth has been an evolution in every process over generations. This is something we have to do to stay successful it the markets we are in.”

You can listen to Chuck’s complete interview with Michael and Bruce here: Interview with Bruce Rominger and Michael Swanson

Boston Food Dialogues Photo Album

Farm Size Dialogue Gives All A Voice

usfra-boston-13-bjergaU.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance once again brought up a hot topic in the agriculture and food industry for experts and industry leaders to discuss. Farm size was the topic for last week’s Boston Food Dialogues. And the man with maybe the toughest job for the day was Alan Bjerga, who’s role was moderator.

Alan is the author of “Endless Appetites: How the Commodities Casino Creates Hunger and Unrest” and agriculture policy reporter for Bloomberg News. After the dialogues concluded, Chuck picked his brain and asked for his insights into the farm size conversation.

“What’s striking is to take a look at how people with different perspectives on agriculture are all grasping towards solutions for the same problems. Where you see agriculture often depends on where you sit on both the value chain and nationwide. There are a lot of different structures to agriculture and agricultural operations within this country and as you see this evolution in consumer takes and marketplace demands everybody is coming at these problems from a different direction. Having a chance to get these different people on a platform to discuss these areas doesn’t necessarily lead to a solution, but it lets people exchange ideas and learn different options and thoughts that are out there. And that’s a key step.”

Alan emphasized how food matters to people and is very personal. What American farmers do is going to continue to be important because we are the leading food producer and exporter. Alan stated that unless you talk with the parties that are affected, than how are we suppose to understand there their concerns.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Alan here: Interview with Alan Bjerga

Boston Food Dialogues Photo Album

Small Farms Serve Niche Market

usfra-boston-13-cruzA fourth generation fruit and vegetable farmer, Jamie Cruz, is the owner/grower of Springdell Farm in Littleton, Massachusetts. Jamie served as a panelist for the Boston Food Dialogues.

The family farm also raises hogs, cattle, poultry, sheep and goats. They proudly sell 99% of their products through their farm stand, various CSA programs, local restaurants and farmers markets.

“The increase demand for local food has really helped us. Here where we are it is a make it or break it for some of the local farmers in the area. So we are very fortunate that the family farms in the area are thriving and we are lucky to have that consumer base.”

Farm size was the topic for the days conversation and Chuck asked Jamie what her thoughts were on the issue.

“Our average farm is about 60 acres here. We have some farms farming as small as an acre and producing food off of it. Is the size of farms an issue? I don’t see so myself personally, but I do see how some of the consumers have some confusing information in front of them about farm size outside of Massachusetts.”

Jamie goes on to share that farm size doesn’t matter when talking about food safety, stewardship, animal welfare and the care of employees. She believes that small farms serve their purpose in niche markets and large farms are able to supply the grocery stores.

Listen to Chuck’s complete interview with Jamie here: Interview with Jamie Cruz

Boston Food Dialogues Photo Album

Big and Small Farms Working Together

Leah BeyerShe’s a mother running on empty. She’s Leah Beyer. Let the Beyer Beware. That all becomes clear when you click on through to the other side.

Leah was a panelist at the Boston Food Dialogues and the first one I interviewed. She’s a farm mom who grows corn and soybean with her husband in Indiana. They are “retired” dairy farmers. I asked her about her thoughts on the subject of farm size. She says, “I think a lot of times people in the media or people in the general public who aren’t connected with agriculture try to put up vs. as in big vs small. From my experience it’s big and small together.” She’s got some great examples you might not think of when it comes to this subject.

You can listen to my interview with Leah here: Interview with Leah Beyer

Follow Leah on Twitter @BeyerBeware

Boston Food Dialogues Photo Album

Anti-GMO Activist on Display

Here’s an interesting video clip of Michael Pollan doing an interview. For those of you who don’t know of him, he’s a very anti-GMO activist who claims to be a journalist. This clip pretty well negates the journalist part when he brags about writing for the New York Times, “But when I wrote about food I never had to give equal time to the other side. I could say whatever I thought and offer my own conclusions.”

It’s also interesting to hear him lament about the “industry” finally fighting back against the kind of misinformation he propagates. He specifically mentions the Food Dialogues like the one that took place yesterday in Boston.

There’s a good Forbes article about this interview you might enjoy.

Farm Size Depends on Many Factors

USFRA Food Dialogues BostonThe Boston Food Dialogues are underway here at The Station. Getting us started with opening remarks was Dr. A. Richard Bonanno, farmer and President of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation. I visited with him before we got started and asked him about his thoughts on the the topic here today of farm size and does it matter. He says “Everyone has their own situation . . . Farm size is all across the board.” For example he says some people can make a living on 4-5 acres of herbs in a greenhouse because of the profit margin. But depending on the type of farm you have you may have to have a lot more acres to make a profit. He says “A lot of it is out of necessity, based on what you’re growing and what your ability is to stay in business, produce a good product, follow all the rules and to eventually have something people want.”

You can listen to Richard’s opening remarks here: Dr. Richard Bonanno Opening Remarks

You can listen to my interview with Richard here: Interview with Dr. Richard Bonanno

I’ve got photos from the event here: Boston Food Dialogues Photo Album