(Jamie) Welcome back to Farm Factor as Kyle and Nancy discuss the US Farmer’s and Rancher’s Alliance vision for agriculture.
(Kyle) Hi this Kyle Bauer from Kansas City, have the opportunity to visit with the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance and specifically Nancy Kavazanjian…close? (Nancy) Yes. (Kyle) About the organization in general and some of your newest projects. First let’s talk about your organization, how it came about and who the members are? (Nancy) We are exactly what it says, we’re an alliance of all agricultural and farming organizations in the United States. And we are five years old, we just bumped over our fifth year anniversary. We started with five major commodity groups, we now have nearly 100 farming and ranching organizations and industry partners that are with us in the alliance. (Kyle) And that’s no individuals, those are all organizations? (Nancy) These are organizations. Everyone from the American Farm Bureau to individual Farm Bureaus, to corn and soybean organizations, cotton, livestock, so it’s everybody. (Kyle) And what is your purpose? (Nancy) Our vision is to create trust in the way we farm today, in American farming and ranching. And we do that by putting the voices of farmers and ranchers into those important conversations that we know that are going on that sometimes they don’t invite us to. (Kyle) Now the movie “Farmland” took and followed six young farmers through the year. How were you involved with that? (Nancy) Well, U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance supported that, but it really was an independent operation, a project of James Mull, a Hollywood producer. We did support it and we got it into theatres. So it was a major documentary that played in theatres and it’s now available streaming on Netflix. It’s also at amazon.com, Walmart, Walmart stores. You can stream it online in a variety of ways. (Kyle) But you’ve continued work with that production. (Nancy) Absolutely. We got it on college campuses and had discussions about it. And now we’ve taken that major documentary, we made a 44 minute classroom version for high school students and working with Discovery Education broke it down into four interactive lesson plans for high school students and we’re working with Discovery Education to market it to the urban centers that we don’t normally reach so that we can get it into every high school in the country. (Kyle) So, for people who have not seen the full-length movie, what were the reactions from the general population and what was the take away when people saw the movie? (Nancy) You can’t not react because there’s some very emotional stories, there are beautiful pictures of our farms and we have six different kinds of farms. We have a big organic farm, we have a one woman farm in New York, we have a cattle rancher in Texas, we have a Nebraska corn grower, we have an Arkansas chicken producer. So when we go to urban audiences we feel like we’re taking them to the farm because we can’t take them to the farm, we’re bringing the farm to them. And the reaction has been wonderful. (Kyle) Obviously you were pleased with how it came out because you’ve spent the additional resources to re-edit it. It appears to me that you feel that young people are a core demographic that you’re trying to reach. (Nancy) Well, certainly everybody wants to reach a millennial, but we need to go further. We need to engage these people right away, kids young and follow them and make sure we are reinforcing the message that agriculture today, today’s modern farming methods are making our food and our farms and ranches more sustainable and our food safer and more nutritious. (Kyle) We’re visiting from Kansas City, Kansas. This is Kyle Bauer reporting with the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance.
(Jamie)Thanks for joining us. I’m your host Jamie Bloom and I hope you enjoyed today’s show. See you next week on Farm Factor – we’re here every Tuesday on AGam in Kansas.