Findings of two national surveys about food and how it is grown and raised were released during "The Food Dialogues," a town hall-style discussion presented by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. The surveys focused separately on the opinions, attitudes and questions consumers and farmers/ranchers have about the current and future state of how food is grown and raised in the United States. Results reveal that lack of access to information, as well as no interest or passion for the topic, have divided consumer opinion on the direction of agriculture.

The National Corn Growers Association is a founding affiliate of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance and NCGA President Bart Schott, a USFRA board member, represented the organization at the New York City panel discussion.

"What brought me to New York is the idea that we farmers and ranchers in the small towns like mine across America's heartland need to learn more about Americans' concerns and choices when it comes to eating the food we help produce," Schott said. "In addition, we'd like to tell them about what we do, especially the great progress underway in American agriculture today to help ensure healthy food for all."

Results of both surveys are being shared and discussed during The Food Dialogues, which is taking place today in four U.S. cities and online via Facebook and at www.fooddialogues.com.

Highlights of the research include:

• While nearly all Americans agree that food production is important to the success of the country, they are split over whether it is going in the right or wrong direction

• Consumers think about food production constantly, yet know very little about how food is brought to the dinner table

• Overwhelmingly, farmers and ranchers share the same values as consumers on issues related to environmental stewardship and animal care

For more details on the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, visit www.usfraonline.org.