It's just been about 10 weeks since the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance identified it's four "Faces of Agriculture" to represent the industry for the year. The four farm faces include Chris Chinn, a Missouri hog producer; Will Gilmer, an Alabama dairy producer; Katie Pratt, an Illinois farmer; and Bo Stone, representing his diversified operation in North Carolina. So what have they been doing so far? The list may surprise you and we have a summary from USFRA below.
Bo Stone, Chris Chinn and Will Gilmer recently posted blogs on the www.foodialogues.com website about their farming and ranching operations.
Chris recently posted two blogs. Her first blog "Farming in a Blizzard, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly!" talks about her family's hog operation and how winter can bring challenges to farmers working to care for their animals. Chris's current blog "Why Do Hog Farmers Keep Their Pigs Inside Barns?" explains the differences between raising hogs inside and outdoors.
Bo's blog titled the "Evolution of My Farm" discusses how his farm has evolved, including the story of how the dynamics of his farm has changed because of his family.
Will posted a blog titled "So God made a farmer...and I wrote a blog post." about the Super Bowl commercial and how his willingness to tell his story has made him a face of agriculture. He talks about being inspired to encourage others to share their stories. And it continues a conversation that has lingered after the Big Game.
On March 19, Katie Pratt participated in a USFRA National Ag Day educational briefing session and tweet chat on Capitol Hill followed by numerous briefings with Washington media. Recently, she also took part in a tweet chat with mommy food bloggers and a radio media tour with 17 national and state radio stations. Both discussed commonly-used, but little-understood food terms.
All four traveled to New York the week of April 1 to participate in meetings with consumer media and editorial boards.
There are many more activities ahead for the group too:
On April 24, Chris Chinn and Bo Stone will participate in the Innovation Forums of the 2013 Restaurant Leadership Conference. They will be included in a panel titled "A Look Behind the Menu at Where Food Comes From" which will provide restaurant operators messaging to handle consumers' questions about food terminology.
Will Gilmer will serve on a panel at IFIC Science Communications Summit on May 7 in Washington, D.C. titled "Risk Communications in the Digital Age: Managing Uncertainty at the Speed of Light".
They were promised a busy time when they signed up to compete to be named as part of the program, and Chinn, Pratt, Gilmer and Stone are meeting that obligation with enthusiasm. We'll keep you posted on where they may be next.