CHESTERFIELD, Mo., Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Farmers and Ranchers in Action (USFRA) is one of – if not the only – organization that has successfully connected farmers and ranchers to food and agriculture stakeholders to co-create sustainable food systems through four tremendous back-to-back events in two weeks' time.
Honor the Harvest Forum:
Beginning with the third annual USFRA Honor the Harvest Forum which brought together farmers and ranchers with agricultural value chain leaders in food, fiber, and energy to address the needs of the next #DecadeofAg. The more than 120 participants brought together 100% of the food and ag value chain for three full days of identifying and addressing specific actions to further innovation and investment that will be necessary to unlock the full potential of climate-smart agriculture nationwide.
Several key themes and action areas emerged during the plenary sessions, breakout discussions, presentations, and leadership talks including collaboration is key to moving the industry forward and the ongoing dialogue and relationships must start with the farmers. USFRA Chairman and Nebraska farmer Anne Meis said of the Forum, "The leadership we've seen, the insight and tough questions we've heard, and the focused conversations must continue."
From meaningful investment to data privacy to elevating producers to educating consumers, the Forum focused on breaking old stereotypes and meeting this critical critical moment with a sense of urgency. "In this pivotal time, we can be leaders in tackling the climate crisis … to be effective, we must work for farmers, ranchers, and landowners and with farmers, ranchers, and landowners," said U.S Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack who addressed the participants on the first day.
The Carbon Neutral Pig – A Docudrama Short Film:
The three-day convening ended with USFRA unveiling a new short film that highlights the important role farmers and ranchers are taking in forging climate solutions with help from science, experts, investors and partners. The docudrama – The Carbon Neutral Pig – sponsored by the United Soybean Board, follows the real-life journey of Marlowe Ivey who has taken over her dad's North Carolina pig farm and is working to make it carbon neutral.
"Change has got to start somewhere" becomes a key line as Ivey encounters people online and in her community that criticize her, and tell Ivey that change is needed. The film is the second of a series telling the stories of our nation's farmers on their journey. While each film tells an individual story, together they show how they are not the only one working to make improvements.
"The need for greater transparency and collaboration is critical, to ensure that producers are valued for their ongoing contributions for our food systems," concluded Meis.
Securing a Seat at the Table for Farmers: United Nations Food Systems Summit:
USFRA successfully secured a seat at the upcoming United Nations Food Systems Summit, with USFRA Chairwoman and Nebraska Farmer Anne Meis speaking as part of the official General Assembly events. Marilyn Hershey (USFRA Secretary and Chair of Dairy Management, Inc.), Chip Bowling (Former USFRA Chair and Former National Corn Growers Association President) and Toni Stanger-McLaughlin (USFRA Board Member and Native American Agriculture Fund CEO) joined Chairman Meis as United States farmer leaders at the digital UN Food Systems Summit inside the General Assembly.
Two years ago, this was a dream, a goal, an objective. Eight months ago, it became a strategic plan. Within the last 30 days, that dream was realized through the thoughtful engagement by USFRA's leadership who worked diligently to ensure the U.S. producer perspective was "at the table" for these important international and domestic conversations about the future of our food systems.
USFRA's mission is to connect farmers and ranchers to food and agriculture stakeholders to co-create sustainable food systems and vision is to continue to enable farmers and ranchers to uniquely contribute to the sustainable food systems of the future by nourishing our communities, natural resources, and planet.
USFRA has worked and will continue to work to bring the authentic voice of farmers and ranchers to key conversations about the future of food, including the UN events. As ag markets and value chains are increasingly global, what happened at the UN Food Systems Summit not only impacts governmental decisions, but also shapes market decisions by brand, financial, and non-governmental organization conversations over the next decade.
Climate Week 2021: Not the Culmination, It's the Kick-Off
Collectively, over the course of the last three weeks, USFRA engaged its internal leadership with our international partners and thought leaders to our farmers and ranchers and through these efforts through social media, meetings, and one-on-one conversations, it is proven that dialogue matters. That dialogue has created a call to action to partner with farmers and ranchers and collaborate with them for without that engagement and collaboration, these dialogues will stall. Unlike any other non-governmental organization, USFRA is at the nexus of these discussions and will continue to lead the path forward.
There are now almost 150 leaders and organizations who have endorsed the Decade of Ag, a shared vision for 2030 with specific outcomes for the food and agriculture sector. These weeks have elevated all participants to be #LeadersinAction for this #DecadeofAg. What is the #DecadeofAg? It's a resilient, restorative, economically viable and climate-smart agricultural system that produces abundant and nutritious food, natural fiber, and clean energy for a sustainable, vibrant, and prosperous America. The path forward is our mutual responsibility. USFRA will continue to lead and represent our nation's farmers and ranchers to further our global sustainable food systems. Join us here.
U.S. Farmers & Ranchers in Action (USFRA) represents farmer and rancher-led organizations, and food and agricultural partners, with a common vision to further our global sustainable food systems. We believe farmers uniquely contribute to nourishing our planet, people, and natural resources. Our focus is creating a proactive collaboration between the best minds in food, agriculture, science, and technology to co-create solutions that will result in environmental, social, and economic sustainability. USFRA is serving as the secretariat for the Decade of Ag a shared vison for 2030 for US food and agriculture. Learn more at www.usfarmersandranchers.org.
Wholly or partially funded by U.S. Farmers and Ranchers in Action including support from the Soybean Checkoff.
For More Information, Please Contact:
VP, Public Affairs & Communications, USFRA
SOURCE U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance