“This is an exciting time for U.S. agriculture. It represents the first time all of production agriculture has come together for a common purpose,” said Stallman. “It won’t be easy. Changing consumer perceptions is a big challenge. We plan to use our strategic vision to focus our energies.”

In 2011, Stallman indicated USFRA will continue to identify any current efforts to enhance public trust in today’s agriculture already undertaken by agriculture and food industry organizations that may fit strategically within USFRA’s vision and goals. USFRA recognizes that many of these current efforts have already made strides forward, and it anticipates future successes for them.

However, USFRA also anticipates identifying gaps in the broad consumer education efforts that exist today. It will be imperative that USFRA closes those gaps and builds a public trust in today’s agriculture campaign that will allow its supporting organizations to operate as needed, while still pooling resources to maximize efficiencies and effectiveness of a consumer influencer and thought leader campaign, said Stallman.

At this time, 23 different farmer- and rancher-led organizations — representing nearly all aspects of agriculture — have joined the alliance to pool resources. According to Stallman, these organizations are contributing to the greater good of agriculture, and are participating in an organization that will truly make a strong, positive impact on farmers and ranchers for years to come. They are:

American Egg Board (AEB)

American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF)

American National Cattle Women (ANCW)

American Sheep Industry(ASI)

American Soybean Association (ASA)

American Sugar Alliance

Beef Checkoff (CBB)

Federation of State Beef Councils (FSBC)

National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG)

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA)

National Cotton Council (NCC)

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA)

National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF)

National Pork Board (NPB)

National Pork Producers Council (NPPC)

Southern Peanut Producers Federation (SPPF)

U.S. Poultry and Egg Association (USPOULTRY)

U.S. Grains Council (USGC)

United Egg Producers (UEP)

United Fresh Produce Association (United Fresh)

United Soybean Board (USB)

U.S. Soybean Federation (USSF)

Western Growers (WGA)

Organizations participating on the USFRA Founding Board include, in alphabetical order, AFBF, the Beef Checkoff, Federation of State Beef Councils, NCBA, NCGA, NPB, NPPC, USPOULTRY, UEP and USB.

The following individuals are serving as the founding board of directors for USFRA:

Philip Bradshaw, USB

Austin Brown, III, Beef Checkoff

Scott George, Federation of State Beef Councils

Gene Gregory, UEP

Dallas Hockman, NPPC

Dale Norton, NPB

Forrest Roberts, NCBA

Bart Schott, NCGA

Bob Stallman, AFBF

John Starkey, USPOULTRY

The following USFRA Board members were elected by their peers at the initial USFRA Board meeting on Friday, November 5, to serve as the inaugural USFRA Executive Committee:

Chairman — Bob Stallman, AFBF

Vice Chairman — Phil Bradshaw, USB

Secretary — Bart Schott, NCGA

Treasurer — Dale Norton, NPB

At-Large — Gene Gregory. UEP

At-Large — Forrest Roberts, NCBA

Stallman said other business conducted by the USFRA Founding Board on Nov. 5 included approving motions to further establish USFRA as a credible and operational entity to enable USFRA to begin the lengthy process of realizing its vision and achieving its goals. Stallman also indicated that participation in USFRA projects by federally-authorized checkoff programs is pending USDA Agricultural Marketing Service approval.