National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement, praising the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ initiative:
“NFU applauds the efforts Deputy Secretary Merrigan and everyone at USDA have put forth to educate the public on the through the ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ initiative. Everyone involved in agriculture has an obligation to educate the public on the hard work that is done each day to produce and distribute safe, healthy and reliable food supply.
“USDA and NFU staff met to join forces in the promotion of this valuable project. Many myths have surrounded the program, and we are working together to bring to light accurate information. Contrary to what opponents may have said, this initiative is inclusive of all agriculture, from organic to traditional and small to large producers of all agricultural products and services.
“This initiative is more than linking producers and consumers with information. Regional food systems are a vital part of this initiative. U.S. farmers and ranchers need to have access to new markets in their local areas in order to distribute the products of their labor. It is also the start of a national conversation about the importance of understanding where your food comes from and how it gets to your plate.
“While this initiative promotes buying locally-produced foods, it is realistic. Everything you put on your table is not grown in every region, nor is everything produced year-round. This is an effort for consumers to make a conscious effort when making purchases when there is a local option.
“NFU will continue to assist USDA with the ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ initiative and encourages everyone to learn about the program and spread the message in their local communities. With the 2012 Farm Bill on the horizon, all of agriculture must come together in every way possible to provide a united front for farmers, ranchers and consumers.”
To learn more about the initiative, visit www.usda.gov/knowyourfarmer.
Posted by Kaci Switzer