Food Dialogues Hit Hot Topics at D.C.Town Hall Meeting (2 of 4)

USFRA met at a live town hall meeting Washington, D.C. at The Newseum to discuss "The View from 30,000 Feet." Panelist joined together to best answer questions many farmers, ranchers and consumers have regarding agriculture in the U.S.

Published on: Sep 22, 2011

Americans have a lot of questions about how food is raised, the impact on our health and the health of the planet. It seems there are more questions than answers. U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance launched The Food Dialogues – a new effort to bring together different viewpoints on farming and ranching and the future of food to help solve problems and get some answers to some very important questions.

The second panel of four touched upon macro issues such as feeding the growing population while maintaining the high standards for safety, quality and the abundant supply to ensure low food prices for the consumer.

The View from 30,000 feet
The View from 30,000 feet

The U.S. is looking for ways to double up on agricultural production to feed the continuing growing population. The world is looking at the U.S. for innovations in agriculture. According to the American Humane Association, we have to consider that our expectations are going to cost more.

"As consumers social expectations move forward they have to expect food will cost more," Kathi Brock, director of Strategic Partnerships with American Humane Association said.

Bob Stallman, president of American Farm Bureau Federation mentions that the marketplace, somehow, has to figure out how to support the production.

"A lot of the controversy with food involves the technology we use to produce it," Stallman said. "Debate has been about technology practices used to meet needs to feed all, reality marketplace must support production." The answers that have helped us meet the challenges of the last 50 years won't work for the next 50.

More than 90 billion pounds of food is thrown into the garbage in the U.S. every year, says Dan Glickman, senior fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center.  Food prices today are directly correlated with the price of oil and energy costs.  "We need to do a much better job on what/how we produce food and its cost effects," Glickman said.

School nutrition is an important secondary issue. Without farmers, there is no food nutrition. Farmers are learning that consumers want to see where their food comes from and moving to have more doors open.

To listen to broadcast coverage of The Food Dialogues from Jason Vance, use the audio player on this page.