The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance announced Jan. 22 that the organization has selected N.C. row crop farmer and livestock producer Bo Stone of Rowland, N.C., as one of the winners of its Faces of Farming & Ranching program. USFRA's goal through the contest is to promote agriculture by finding exemplary farming models who are both proud of farming and eager to promote the story of the industry to the public.
As one of the Faces of Farming & Ranching, Stone will share his story and experiences on a national stage.
"I recognize that farmers in general need to do a better job relaying our message and stories to the consumers of our products and others who will have a part in shaping our futures," says Stone. "I hope to reach an audience that doesn't realize farmers have the same goals as them – to provide a safe, reliable, and affordable source of food while protecting our natural resources."
Stone owns P&S Farms with his parents and wife, Missy, in Robeson County. They grow 2,300 acres of row crops, produce approximately 10,000 pigs annually, and raise 60 cows.
As a Faces of Farming & Ranching winner, Stone will receive a $10,000 stipend to help offset the time he will be away from the farm this year while he serves as a USFRA spokesperson. In addition, he will have the opportunity to direct a $5,000 donation to an agriculture-related charity.
"So much of today's conversation on food in media and popular culture is missing the perspective of the people who actually grow and raise our food," says Bob Stallman, chairman of USFRA and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. "This lack of representation has led to a lot of misconceptions and questions about how food gets from the farm or ranch to our tables. Farmers like Bo were named winners of this program because they are eager to share their stories about the innovative ways they continue to improve food production each day. They have the first-hand experience to address complicated issues surrounding food production, by giving honest answers about what happens on today's farms and ranches."
Well over 50 farming associations cooperate as affiliates to make up USFRA, including the North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia Farm Bureau Federations, the National Corn Growers Association, the United Soybean Board, the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association and many others.
To learn more about the group, visit www.fooddialogues.com/