The Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, in cooperation with the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, or USFRA, hosted "Food Dialogues: Iowa" on November 19 at the Scheman building on the Iowa State University campus at Ames.
The event brought together several experts on food issues including farmers, for a panel discussion on genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, organically grown food, and local sourcing of foods. Panelists included Wayne Humphreys, a crop and livestock farmer, Katie Olthoff, a turkey farmer and CommonGround volunteer; Dr. Wayne Parrott, professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences/College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia; Dr. John Schillinger, veteran soybean breeder and crop researcher; Larry Cleverley, an organic farmer; and Dave Murphy from Food Democracy Now!
Organic farming, conventional farming, livestock animal care, GMOs and other food and farming issues were discussed
Larry Cleverley a farmer from Mingo brought up a key point during the discussion, saying there is room for both organic and conventional agriculture today, but pointing out that he has chosen organic.
Katie Olthoff a turkey farmer from Stanhope agreed, but didn't want there to be sides. She shared very emotional stories about her family farm and their care of their animals, even stating that on Thanksgiving, as we all enjoy our meal, her husband "will be doing chores and working in the barns."
Moderator, John Bachman, a former Des Moines TV journalist now retired, "did a good job of assuring equal time to each panelist and had no problem keeping the conversation rolling," says Mindy Williamson, director of communications for Iowa Corn.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
The "Food Dialogues: Iowa" event is part of a larger effort by the USFRA to bring together farmers, ranchers, industry experts, scientists, media and consumers for a dynamic discussion on today's most pressing topics related to food and food production. If you missed the event, please visit the Food Dialogues website. You can follow the live conversation by tracking #FoodD on twitter and facebook.
Iowa Corn Promotion Board: The Iowa Promotion Board (ICPB) is composed of 17 corn growers, elected by their peers, who direct funds collected through the Iowa corn checkoff program. The checkoff was established by grower referendum in 1977 and has been a model for other programs in 18 states. The checkoff program collects 1 cent per bushel and is refundable. The ICPB and the growers it represents are actively working to create an economic climate in which the Iowa corn industry will flourish through research, market development and education.
Iowa Corn Growers Association: The Iowa Corn Growers Association brings growers together to proactively manage issues that advance the Iowa corn industry. ICGA's lobbying and legislative efforts are financed through membership dollars. They target everyday issues that directly affect the corn growers livelihood. The association and its elected board of directors from each crop-reporting district, represent nearly 7,000 members and work to build relationships with business and industry. Through all these efforts, the ICGA is advancing the Iowa corn industry by providing corn growers with a voice in Iowa, Washington, D.C., and around the world.
About USFRA: This organization is composed of the farmers and ranchers of America. U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance consists of more than 80 farmer- and rancher-led organizations and ag partners representing virtually all aspects of agriculture, working to engage in dialogue with consumers who have questions about how today's food is grown and raised. USFRA is committed to continuous improvement and supporting U.S. farmers and ranchers efforts to increase confidence and trust in today's agriculture.