The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) has announced that Bo Stone (Rowland, N.C.), has been selected as one of the winners of its Faces of Farming & Ranching program.

This nationwide search was launched by USFRA in June 2012 as a way to identify farmers and ranchers who are proud of what they do and are eager to share their stories.

Stone and three other program winners were selected from a pool of more than 100 farmer and rancher applicants from across the country.

As one of the Faces of Farming & Ranching, Stone will share his stories and experiences on a national stage to help answer consumers’ questions about how food is grown and raised.

“I recognize that farmers in general need to do a better job relaying our message and stories to the consumers of our products and others who will have a part in shaping our futures,” said Bo Stone.
“I hope to reach an audience that doesn't realize farmers have the same goals as them — to provide a safe, reliable, and affordable source of food while protecting our natural resources.”

Stone jointly owns P & S Farms with his parents and wife, Missy in Robeson County. They grow 2,300 acres of row crops, raise approximately 10,000 pigs annually and have 60 cows. They also grow 2.5 acres of strawberries and 4 acres of sweet corn to sell at their own roadside market. Stone is a board member of the Robeson County Farm Bureau and Cape Fear Farm Credit.

Alabama’s Will Gilmer was another program winner. For his story, see Will Gilmer).

As a Faces of Farming & Ranching winner, Stone will receive a $10,000 stipend to help offset the time he will spend away from the farm in the coming year serving as a USFRA spokesperson. He will also have the opportunity to direct a $5,000 donation to an agriculture-related charity.

Farmer voices needed

“So much of today’s conversation on food in media and popular culture is missing the perspective of the people who actually grow and raise our food,” said Bob Stallman, chairman of USFRA and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

“This lack of representation has led to a lot of misconceptions and questions about how food gets from the farm or ranch to our tables. Farmers like Bo were named winners of this program because they are eager to share their stories about the innovative ways they continue to improve food production each day.

“They have the first-hand experience to address complicated issues surrounding food production, by giving honest answers about what happens on today’s farms and ranches.”

From Nov. 15-Dec. 15, 2012, thousands visited http://www.fooddialogues.com to learn more about the candidates and to vote for whom they believed best represented American agriculture.

In addition to the public vote, a panel of judges from throughout the food and agriculture community interviewed and evaluated the finalists to help determine the winners of Faces of Farming & Ranching.

Winners were announced Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. CT during a live-streamed broadcast, followed by a media teleconference.

The other three winners include Wil Gilmer — Alabama, Katie Pratt – Illinois, and Chris Chinn — Missouri. For more information on theFaces of Farming & Ranching program, visit http://www.fooddialogues.com.

About U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA)

U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) consists of more than 80 farmer- and rancher-led organizations and agricultural partners representing virtually all aspects of agriculture working to engage in dialogues with consumers who have questions about how today’s food is grown and raised.

USFRA is committed to continuous improvement and supporting U.S. farmers and ranchers efforts to increase confidence and trust in today’s agriculture.