When it comes to today's agriculture, there are many examples of great farmers and ranchers all over the country doing wonderful things to bring food to the table for those around the world. But few of those farmers and ranchers are recognizable by consumers, mainstream media and influencers. In fact, the pictures and perceptions of farmers and ranchers often do not match reality, and USFRA wants to change that.
At USFRA's Food Dialogues event in Los Angeles last Thursday, the organization announced it is looking for the "Faces of Farming and Ranching" to help put a real face on agriculture and shine a light on the heart, personalities and values that are behind today's food.
"USFRA has started a movement to bring more farmers and ranchers together to answer people's questions about how their food is grown and raised," said Bob Stallman, chairman of USFRA and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
"Many voices are leading conversations about food – and often leaving the people who grow and raise our food out. We need to find the best people to be part of these conversations and represent the real farmers and ranchers of America," he added.
USFRA is looking for standout farmers and ranchers who are proud of what they do, eager to share their stories of continuous improvement with others and who are actively involved today in sharing those stories. Farmers and ranchers who raise a variety of foods differently, at differing scale and in all areas of the country are encouraged to apply as it is important to show American agriculture and all of its diversity.
Entries will be accepted through September 8, 2012 at www.FoodDialogues.com. Finalists will be announced at the November 2012 Food Dialogues event in New York City. This national announcement will open a public online voting period where visitors can vote for their favorite candidates. Those votes will be factored into the decision to determine "The Faces of Farming and Ranching."
Winners will be announced in early January 2013 based on votes and the recommendation of a panel of judges.
The public will get to know the USFRA "Faces" winners through national media interviews, advertising and public appearances. For their time, they will receive a $10,000 stipend as well as a $5,000 donation to their preferred agriculture-related or local charity in their name.
"We want America to see the real faces of farming and ranching," said Stallman. "This is an excellent way for those within agriculture to step up and showcase to the country what these hard-working farmers and ranchers are really all about."
Entrants will be required to submit an online application and include a home video of less than three minutes that describes themselves and their farm or ranch.