(Posted Mon. Nov 25th, 2013)

Nov. 25:  The Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, in cooperation with the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, hosted “Food Dialogue: Iowa” last week at Iowa State University. The event was 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.


The event brought together several experts on food issues including farmers, for a panel discussion on Genetically Modified Organisms (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 from the University of Georgia; John Schillinger, Ph.D. Crop Researcher; Larry Cleverley, an Organic Farmer; and Dave Murphy from Food Democracy Now!


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 TV journalist, did a good job of assuring equal time to each panelist and had no problem keeping the conversation rolling.


The National Corn Growers Association is a founding affiliate and leader organization of USFRA. Iowa Corn was the first NCGA state affiliate to join the effort.


If you missed the event, you can watch the video at