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Farm Group goes Hollywood

Farm Group goes Hollywood

USFRA takes the Food Dialogues to Los Angeles for a two-day event aimed at broadening the discussion over food issues.

The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance conducted a first-time event last September that started a national conversation about food and food issues. From coast to coast panelists and those engaged in food writing and discussion talked about key food issues. The conversation continues later in June with the Food Dialogues head to Hollywood, or rather to Los Angeles.

Four separate discussions are planned over two days to bring together entertainment movers and shaers, chefs, academics, large restaurant operators, journalists, local leaders, farmers and ranchers for an in-depth conversation about food.

USFRA takes the Food Dialogues to Los Angeles for a two-day event aimed at broadening the discussion over food issues.

All panel discussions taking place at the event called "Lights, Camera Food: Perceptiosn and REalities of Farming and Ranching in America" will be available online at

“We are pleased to bring this type of conversation to the forefront in a pivotal location like Los Angeles,” says Bob Stallman, chairman of USFRA and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.  “We chose Los Angeles because of the influence the region and its opinion leaders have on popular culture and trends that affect the entire nation – including how we view our food. These in-depth discussions will not only move the conversation forward about how food is grown and raised, but it will also give those in the agricultural industry the opportunity to learn more from consumers and their needs and expectations for the food-growing industries.”

The full list of panelists will be announced prior to the events in Los Angeles. Two of the four panel discussions will be streamed live online Wednesday, June 20 and Thursday, June 21 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, offering the opportunity for farmers, ranchers and the general public to take part. And those on Twitter can take part by following @USFRA using #FoodD as the hashtag.

Here's a rundown of the schedule:

Day One – Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hollywood and “Vine”: The Intersection of Pop Culture and Food Production

Live streamed ( on Wednesday, June 20 – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. PDT.

Panel Description: Cooking shows, food competitions, online content, books and documentaries – these are only a few examples of the many ways the entertainment world is addressing the topic of food.  But, as more Americans turn to entertainment to influence their food-purchasing and consumption decisions, are they getting the full story? Are these entertainment properties providing content that is fair or accurate? Has entertainment played an important role in our society by raising people’s consciousness about food?  Should farmers and ranchers be a bigger part of entertainment ventures? This event will feature entertainment decision-makers, farmers and ranchers for a conversation about the portrayal of food and agriculture in popular culture.

Meeting of the Minds: Touring Hollywood’s Urban Farm 

Wednesday, June 20 – 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. PDT.  Follow this panel discussion on Twitter @USFRA using #FoodD to participate in a live-Tweeting of the event activities as they happen. This event will be taped and content from the panel will be available in late June 2012.

Panel Description: Communities across America, including major metropolitan areas, are embracing urban farms and community gardens. The role these urban farms play is important to the communities where they operate, often addressing a larger societal/community need. Equally important is the direct connection the farm/garden gives to consumers interested in learning more about how food is grown and raised.  What can larger, conventional farms learn about best practices from urban farms – and vice versa?  Join farmers and ranchers – large and small, urban and rural, as they tour Wattles Farm in Hollywood. This intimate discussion will take a look at best practices and shared techniques, no matter the farm size, and the role that urban farms/community gardens play in feeding the stomachs and souls of American communities.  And discover how rural and urban farmers can work together to provide healthy choices for people everywhere.

Day Two – Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Great Debate: Science, Technology and Food

Live streamed ( on Thursday, June 21 – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. PDT.

Panel Description: What technologies are farmers and ranchers using to produce food while protecting the environment? Is more research the answer to biotechnology in agriculture? Join a panel of leading scientists and academics, farmers, ranchers and thought leaders for a dynamic conversation about the role science and technology play in agriculture.

The REAL Chef Challenge: Understanding How Food is Grown and Raised

Thursday, June 21 – 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. PDT. Follow us on Twitter @USFRA using #FoodD to participate in a live-Tweeting of the event activities as they happen. This event will be taped and content from the panel will be available in late June 2012.

Panel Description: Each day, individuals across the food chain – from farmers and ranchers to grocers and chefs – play unique roles in delivering the food we eat. How have these roles changed given Americans’ appetite for more information and preferences about how their food is sourced?  What unique circumstances and challenges must be addressed in order for chefs, restaurateurs and grocers to continue delivering products their customers want?   Do chefs have enough access to the farmers who grow and raise our food?  This intimate roundtable will bring together farmers, ranchers, chefs, and others to discuss how food sourcing impacts how they grow, raise, buy and serve healthy choices for people everywhere. 

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