(Posted Fri. Aug 31st, 2012)

Aug. 31: Now more than ever, Americans rely on the Internet and social media to learn about hot-button issues and connect with others who share similar social views. For moms, food production is an issue that is constantly top of mind. Hundreds of Colorado moms have taken to blogs to communicate how food impacts their lifestyles with readers around the globe. Colorado rancher Cindy Frasier, farmer Danell Kalcevic and dairy farmer Jennifer Koolstra set out to build understanding and initiate a conversation with these online influencers at the first annual CommonGround Colorado blogger conversation luncheon this week.  


The three women are volunteers with the CommonGround program, a national grassroots movement launched by the National Corn Growers Association, the United Soybean Board and their state affiliates to bridge the gap between the women who grow food and the women who buy it. This luncheon brought together nearly a dozen mommy and lifestyle bloggers for discussion about today’s farming.


Bennett, Colo. volunteer Kalcevic explained, “I wanted to make sure that the women who attended our luncheon left with an understanding that farmers do not do things to harm anyone. My children and I eat the same food they feed their families. We provided guests with a unique, first hand perspective of what goes into food production and the future of farming in the United States.”


Throughout the luncheon, the volunteers told stories from their farms and used their agriculture expertise and experience as mothers to connect with guests on issues relating to our food supply. Spirited discussions on a variety of topics took place over two hours regarding the treatment of organic cattle and the differences between organic and conventional farming; how milk production is regulated from the dairy to local plants; and the impact the 2012 drought is having on crops being grown right here in Colorado.


“The average American is three generations removed from the farm,” said Frasier, a rancher in Limon, Colo. “By addressing the current disconnect between consumers and farmers through personal discussions we can make sure people feel safe with their food choices. That’s exactly what we were able to accomplish at the blogger conversation luncheon. Now, I look forward to welcoming these women and their children to my ranch for a personal farm tour.”


“I was so impressed with how engaged our guests were about issues relating to agriculture,” stated Koolstra, a CommonGround Colorado volunteer from Cope, Colo., about the luncheon. ”It gave me a platform to feel comfortable sharing my story and help eliminate some of the reservations moms have about purchasing milk for their families.”  


By providing credible facts about farming and food and fostering conversations between women and other supporters of today’s agriculture, the CommonGround movement increases the visibility of U.S. farmers and ranchers and the important role they play in America’s food supply.


In Colorado, Frasier, Kalcevic and Koolstra will continue to engage with Coloradans at local events and through online conversations on social media sites. Want to join the CommonGround Colorado Conversation? Stay connected with the movement online: