Md. farmers to discuss sustainability
CENTREVILLE — According to recent research, 48 percent of consumers can’t say what “sustainability” means to them, but 56 percent say they consider the sustainability of how food is grown while they’re at the grocery store.
Among foodie types, that second number is even higher: 75 percent of those known as “Consumer Food Connectors” say their perception of the sustainability of grocery items influences their purchases.
Consumers today are demanding information about how their food is produced. The debate about food sourcing, safety and production continues to escalate. Conflicting and controversial headlines have made consumers increasingly anxious about food decisions for themselves and their families.
To help farmers address questions about sustainability, the Maryland Grain Producers and Maryland Soybean Board are offering a special session at the Maryland Commodity Classic July 28.
Conducted by the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, the Sustainability Communications Training will begin at 9:30 a.m., revealing what consumers think are the most important elements of sustainability.
Registration is encouraged by calling 410-956-5771 or emailing lynne.mdag@ gmail.com. A $10 fee for entr y to Commodity Classic is required.
Following the training, at 10:30 a.m., a research session will update farmers on checkoff-funded projects. Exhibits and informational displays will open at 10 a.m.
The afternoon program begins at 1 p.m., with the business meeting followed by the National Leaders Panel featuring Chip Bowling of Maryland, president of the National Corn Growers Association; Richard Wilkins of Delaware, president of the American Soybean Association; Lee McDaniel of Maryland, president of the National Association of Conservation Districts; Chip Councell of Maryland, vice chairman of the U.S. Grains Council; and Jason Scott of Maryland, vice chairman of U.S. Wheat Associates.
Hans Schmidt, assistant secretary of the Maryland Department of Agriculture, will give an update on proposed changes to Maryland’s nutrient management regulations, and Jon Doggett, executive vice president of NCGA, will give an update on Washington, D.C. news.
Rounding out the program is keynote speaker Charlie Arnot, CEO of The Center for Food Integrity, a national organization dedicated to building consumer trust and confidence in today’s food system, on “Why Consumers Hate Big Ag.”
After 2:30 p.m. the entry fee is $20; there is no entry after 3:30 p.m. All activities will be held at the Queen Anne’s County 4-H Park.
For more information, visit http://www.maryland grain.com/News_Commod ityClassic.htm.
The Maryland Commodity Classic held annually by the Maryland Grain Producers with additional support from the Mar yland Soybean Board.
Farmers line both sides of the buffet during the much anticipated conclusion of a previous Maryland Commodity Classic — the crab feast and chicken barbecue.