Today’s agriculture continues to be attacked by a number of different groups. Unfortunately, as the majority of the U.S. public has become further and further removed from the farm, they tend to believe the groups attacking agriculture, according to the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA).

This new alliance is comprised of most of the leading national farmer- and rancher-led agricultural organizations.

USFRA believes the actions of these groups have led a number of agricultural organizations to fund programs that bolster the image of agriculture and enhance public trust in our food supply. While these individual efforts have been helpful in answering some of the criticism, there is a growing need for all of agriculture to coordinate their messages and reach out even further to the consuming public through consumer influencers and thought leaders.

“We in production agriculture recognize the immediate need to build consumer trust in today’s U.S. food production system,” said newly-elected USFRA Chairman Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “We also recognize the need to maintain and enhance the freedom of American farmers and ranchers to operate in an economical, sustainable and responsible manner. The sun rises today on a new, collaborative and coordinated effort by many segments of production agriculture to tell our great story as never before.”

At a news conference introducing the USFRA founding affiliates and board participants, Stallman recalled a historic meeting that took place on Oct. 12 in St. Louis. Twenty farmer and rancher organizations in attendance agreed to form USFRA to develop and implement a well-funded, long-term, and coordinated public trust campaign for American agriculture.

Stallman stated the Alliance’s vision is to enhance consumer trust in today’s U.S. food production system, to maintain and enhance the freedom of U.S. farmers and ranchers to operate in a responsible manner, and to strengthen collaboration with the food production, processing and distribution systems.

According to Stallman, USFRA will focus its initial efforts on the following measurable goals:

• Increase consumer, consumer influencer and thought leader trust and confidence in today’s agriculture.

• Serve as a resource to food companies on the benefits of today’s agricultural production.

• Work with leading health, environmental and dietary organizations to demonstrate the benefits of today’s agricultural production.

• Increase the role of U.S. farmers and ranchers as the voice of animal and crop agriculture on local, state and national food issues.