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Ali Velshi To Moderate The Food Dialogues (SM): New York On Nov. 15

CHESTERFIELD, Mo., Nov. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance announced that Ali Velshi, CNN chief business correspondent and anchor of Your Money and World Business Today on CNN International, will moderate The Food Dialogues℠: New York.  This event, titled, "Straight Talk, Straight Answers," will include a series of back-to-back panel discussions designed to answer Americans' questions on some of today's most provocative topics related to food, including antibiotics and biotechnology (GMOs). Taking place at The TimesCenter in Midtown Manhattan on Thursday, Nov. 15, the event will bring together farmers, ranchers, industry experts, pundits and media.    

"The goal for The Food Dialogues has always been to create an environment for balanced discussion on how food is grown and raised," said Bob Stallman, chairman of USFRA and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. "The addition of a leading journalist like Ali Velshi is one way the USFRA ensures the conversation focuses on the tough questions that consumers and influencer audiences have about food production. We're thrilled that he will be a part of what we are certain will be a dynamic conversation."

Velshi will leverage his expertise as the chief business correspondent at CNN to moderate the day's discussions. The event will stream live at beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET and will conclude at 3:30 p.m. ET. Since announcing the event several weeks ago, USFRA today also provided updates on the event agenda and slate of panelists.

The first panel, Media, Marketing and Healthy Choices, will examine how the media's coverage of food and its health benefits have impacted consumer choice. This discussion also will address what more can be done to answer Americans' questions about how their food is grown and raised. Expert panelists include:

  • Richard Ball, New York vegetable farmer
  • Debbi Beauvais, RD, SNS, New York School Nutrition President and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson
  • Blake Hurst, president, Missouri Farm Bureau
  • Tracie McMillan, author, "The American Way of Eating"
  • Craig McNamara, California organic farmer
  • Carolyn O'Neil, MS, RD, WebMD

The panel focused on antibiotics entitled, "Your Toughest Questions Answered on Antibiotics and Your Food," will feature experts ranging from veterinarians to consumer advocates, including:

  • Keith Ayoob, pediatric nutritionist, Albert Einstein School of Medicine
  • Barb Determan, pork producer (Iowa), Heartland Marketing Group
  • Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives, Consumers Union
  • Dr. Christine Hoang, DVM, MPH, CPH, assistant director of the Division of Scientific Activities,  American Veterinary Medical Association
  • Dr. Karen Jordan, Brush Creek Swiss Farms, North Carolina – dairy farmer and veterinarian

The final panel of the day will focus on the use of biotech seeds. This discussion entitled, "Your Toughest Questions Answered on Biotechnology (GMOs) and Your Food," will focus on  the role that biotech seeds has in society, including benefits and  concerns related to long-term health and the pros and cons of labeling. Panelists include:

  • Dr. Bob Goldberg, plant molecular biologist currently using genomics to identify all of the genes required to "make a seed," University of California, Los Angeles
  • Dr. Julie Howard, chief scientist, food security, USAID
  • Gregory Jaffe, director of biotechnology, Center for the Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) 
  • Fred Kirschenmann, president of the board of directors, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and distinguished fellow, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University
  • Cheryl Rogowski, New York organic farmer
  • Jerry Slocum, Mississippi soybean farmer

In addition to the panel discussions, USFRA has plans to announce farmers and ranchers who are finalists for its Faces of Farming and Ranching program.

All panel discussions taking place during The Food Dialogues: New York will be available online (either live streamed or taped) at Additionally, individuals with a Twitter account can follow all of the panel discussions by following @USFRA using #FoodD. 

About The Food Dialogues
USFRA recognizes that Americans have important questions about our food and how it is produced. We have all become invested in knowing more about where our food comes from and how it was grown and raised – and how it impacts our personal health.  USFRA helps farmers and ranchers answer consumers' and influencers' questions, including the tough ones, about food production. For additional information about USFRA and The Food Dialogues: New York, visit, or on Facebook at   Follow USFRA on Twitter @USFRA using #FoodD.

About U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA)
U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) is a newly formed alliance consisting of a wide range of prominent farmer- and rancher-led organizations and agricultural partners. This marks the first time agricultural groups at the national, regional and state levels have collaborated to lead the dialogue and answer Americans' questions about how we raise our food – while being stewards of the environment, responsibly caring for our animals and maintaining strong businesses and communities.

This press release was wholly or partially funded by one or more Checkoff programs.

SOURCE U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance
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