USFRA takes Part in NY Times Conference; Farmland Called a Success

The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) has had a busy 2014 with the release of the documentary “Farmland” and the continued outreach with Food Dialogue events.

Most recently, the USFRA had a seat at the table at the inaugural The New York Times Food For Tomorrow: Farm Better. Eat Better. Feed the World. The conference, held Nov. 11 in New York City, hosted a panel of experts from the agriculture industry, including a USFRA panel featuring farmers, ranchers and ag experts from across the country.

Gene Stoel

Gene Stoel

Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) Director Gene Stoel, who sits on the board and attended the most recent USFRA board meeting Nov. 10 in Kansas City, Kan., said the organization was excited about The New York Times conference.

“The conference gave us an opportunity to be in the discussion about food safety and sustainable farming,” Stoel said.

Stoel said the biggest highlight this year has been with the documentary “Farmland.” The pro-agriculture documentary exceeded expectations in its 2014 release and has renewed interest after a four-week run on the online streaming site Hulu, where viewers were able to watch the documentary free. Farmland is still available on the Hulu-plus platform.

“We were really pleased with the attention ‘Farmland’ received,” Stoel said. “We’re also really excited that ‘Farmland’ will be available in Walmart to purchase beginning this spring.”

USFRA consists of more than 80 farmer – and rancher-led organizations and agricultural 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.

The MSR&PC invests checkoff dollars into the USFRA, something Stoel shares with great pride.

“Farmers are less than 2 percent of the population,” Stoel said. “The USFRA is important to Minnesota soybean farmers because it gives us a large support group who advocates to a national, non-farm audience on behalf of farmers and ranchers. We want to get the truth out about today’s agriculture, and the USFRA gives us an avenue to do just that.”

Featured Photo: Ryan Veldhuizen of Edgerton, Minn., raises hogs. He was one of the farmers featured in the “Farmland” documentary.