(Posted Tue. Dec 4th, 2012)

Dec. 4:  Last month, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, of which the National Corn Growers Association is a founding affiliate, announced the finalists of its Faces of Farming and Ranching program, a nationwide search for agriculture spokespeople, at the Food Dialogues in New York City. The Faces of Farming and Ranching winners will become the faces of agriculture and will be tapped to share stories and experience on a national stage. By answering consumers’ questions about how their food is grown and raised, they will help shift conversations about food production and the way we feed our nation.


This is America’s chance to vote for the finalist that they believe best represents those across the country who bring food to the table.  This is America’s chance to vote for the finalist that they think can best answer its questions. However, voting ends Dec. 15, so people are encouraged to visit www.fooddialogues.com to watch a short video of each finalist’s farm or ranch. Your vote will contribute toward the total score to determine the winners.


“We’ve got a diverse list of farmers and ranchers who are eloquent spokespersons for American agriculture,” said NCGA Corn Board member Mike Geske, a member of the USFRA board. “It’s great to be part of a movement that encompasses such a broad spectrum and has such terrific talent.”


In addition to the public vote, a panel of judges from throughout the food and agriculture community interviewed and evaluated the finalists to help determine the “Faces of Farming and Ranching” winners.  The judging panel included Chef Danny Boome, Willie Vogt of Farm Progress, Lauren Lexton of Authentic Entertainment  and  Emily Paster, a blogger at West of the Loop.


Winners will be announced in January 2013 and will share their stories on a national stage through potential media interviews, consumer-facing public appearances and events and advertising campaigns.  For their time away from their operation, 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.


U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance consists of a wide range of prominent farmer- and rancher-led organizations and agricultural partners. This marks the first time agricultural groups at the national, regional and state levels have collaborated to lead the dialogue and answer Americans’ questions about how we raise our food – while being stewards of the environment, responsibly caring for our animals and maintaining strong businesses and communities.