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Summary of Food Dialogues®: North Carolina

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On September 19, 2013, the North Carolina Animal Agriculture Coalition and the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, hosted The Food Dialogues®: North Carolina. The goal of this event was to reconnect our state with the foods we eat and the farmers that feed us. This was done through two panel-based discussions that addressed questions related to what’s on our plates and how our food is raised and grown. Local radio personality Lynda Loveland led the discussion among our panel of experts including farmers, food scientists, health care professionals and leaders in the consumer food service industry.

The Panels

PANEL 1: WHAT’S ON MY PLATE?

North Carolinians want to know more about the food on their plates. This panel discussed the importance of consumer choice in the marketplace including organic and conventionally grown foods, and the use of science and biotechnology in food production. Our expert panelists addressed health and safety concerns related to the foods we eat, how food supplies are shaped by consumer demand and how interested consumers can learn more.

PANEL 2: WHO IS MY FARMER?

Agriculture and agribusiness represent the largest segment of our state’s economy, but most of our population is generations removed from the family farm. Food Dialogues: North Carolina educated consumers about where their food comes from, and the people who produce it. This panel focused on farming in North Carolina, why many farms look and operate much differently than they did just 30 years ago, and the complexity of the food production process. Panelists also answered questions regarding modern animal care practices, and the balance between responsible, environmentally friendly farming and our farmer’s efforts to feed your family and families around the world.

PANELISTS: WHAT’S ON MY PLATE?

Lynda Loveland, Co-host of WRAL-FM MIX 101.5’s “MIX Morning Show” and contributing blogger for WRAL-TV’s Go Ask Mom Blog
Vicky Allen, Co-Owner and Founder, Carolina Grown
Richard McKellogg, Director of Produce Merchandizing, Lowes Foods
Dr. Tom Irons, Associate Vice Chancellor for Regional Health Services, and Professor of Pediatrics – Brody School of Medicine, Eastern Carolina University
Dr. Greg Copenhaver, UNC Director of Graduate Studies, Biology Department
Alex Hitt, Peregrine Farms, Organic Farmer
Bo Stone, P & S Farms, USFRA Faces of Farming winner and 2012 Conservation Farm of the Year

PANELISTS: “Who is my Farmer?”

Tommy Porter, Livestock and Poultry Producer, 2006 Sunbelt Expo Farmer of the Year for NC
Casey McKissick, Program Director for NC Choices, CEFS and operates Foothills Pasture Raised Meats
Dr. Sid Thakur, Associate Professor, Population Health and Pathobiology, NC State College of Veterinary Medicine
Robin Smith, Attorney at Law and former Assistant Secretary, Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources
Dr. Blake Brown, Hugh C. Kiger Professor and Extension Economist, NC State University/NC Research Campus
Vivian Howard, Chef, The Chef & The Farmer; Star of PBS TV Series A Chef’s Life

SPONSORS

Food Dialogues®: North Carolina was hosted by the North Carolina Animal Agriculture Coalition (NCAAC), and the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance.

About NCAAC

The North Carolina Animal Agriculture Coalition seeks out opportunities to engage with the public, our customers, opinion leaders and our neighbors about what we do and why. We work together to tell the positive story of today’s farms and North Carolina’s farm families, and also discuss important issues such as food safety, health and nutrition, animal care and environmental protection. We do this in a variety of venues, including within our communities and through media outreach. In addition, we act as a resource to help answer questions, model best practices and provide open insight into our products and practices to help the public understand the role animal farming plays in North Carolina.

About U.S. Farmers & Ranchers

U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (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.

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