The food industry makes new product claims, procurement and sourcing decisions daily to appease consumer demands, without consulting farmers and ranchers. As more companies shift sourcing decisions, citing sustainability goals at the heart of their efforts, the end result could be fundamental changes in farming structures.
The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) created the Sustainability Officers Council to provide food companies with access to the farmer and rancher perspective. It is critical for farmers and ranchers to have a voice in conversations with others in the supply chain about sustainability, food and agriculture. The Sustainability Officers Council allows anyone who would like to speak with a farmer or rancher about current and future sustainability practices in agriculture to easily set up a meeting through USFRA.
USFRA is pleased to announce six new Sustainability Officers:
- Kyle Bridgeforth - Alabama crop farmer
- Tom Crave - Wisconsin dairy farmer
- Cassidy Johnston - New Mexico cattle rancher
- Nancy Kavazanjian - Wisconsin crop farmer
- Hilary Maricle - Nebraska cattle, pig, corn and soybean farmer
- Leon Sheets - Iowa pig, corn and soybean farmer
"As former chairwoman of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, I look forward to serving voluntarily as one of the Sustainability Officers and highlighting how all farmers make environmental sustainability a priority," said Nancy Kavazanjian, Wisconsin crop farmer. "These farmers and ranchers serve as a great representation of today's agriculture - making continuous improvement a priority by utilizing technology to enhance animal welfare and conserve our natural resources."
As part of the Sustainability Officers Council, these six farmers and ranchers will participate in conversations with food companies and retailers, offering data, research and knowledge about modern agricultural practices on today's farms and ranches. In addition, the Officers will participate in USFRA's Food Dialogues panel discussions at The Sustainable Consortium (May 1-3 in Chicago, Ill.), National Restaurant Association Conference (May 19-22 in Chicago, Ill.) and Sustainable Brands (June 4-7 in Vancouver, B.C.).
To provide additional resources and information for food companies, and further showcase the sustainable farming and ranching practices taking place today, USFRA created a website at straighttalk.fooddialogues.com. The website is a valuable resource which includes our Agriculture in America Sustainability Report, infographics, sustainability-focused videos and more.