Courtesy of Texas Corn Producers
Last week, two Texas farmers set out to tell their own farm stories – seeking conversations about the food they grow and how they produce it in the state’s first coordinated CommonGround effort. Bobbie Black and Ashley Pool, Muleshoe farmers alongside their husbands, spoke with attendees at the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Annual Conference and Exhibition in Arlington, Texas, April 27-28.
CommonGround is a group of farmers having conversations about the food they grow and how they produce it. The farmer volunteers that make up this grassroots organization share their personal experiences, as well as science and research, to help consumers and food influencers sort through the myths and misinformation surrounding food and farming.
Black and Pool are two of seven Texas farmers who volunteer for this effort. The pair had the opportunity to visit with nutritionists, dieticians and students from across the state – at a conference that boasted an attendance of nearly 800.
“At the start of the exhibition, we presented an industry briefing to the attendees – explaining who we are and that we are here to be a resource to them,” Black said. “From there, we were available throughout the show hours to visit with participants about how we farm, and discuss how we make choices on our farm so we can produce a quality product we’re comfortable using for our own families.”
Tackling issues many see in headlines every day was a common theme throughout the 2-day event.
“Many people visited with us about the ‘hot button’ issues you see across the internet and TV,” Pool said. “What’s great about the CommonGround effort, is we’re just real people – real farmers – talking about what it is we do every day. Whether it was GMOs, organic and local foods, food safety or animal welfare we simply discuss what we do on our farm and why we do it.”
CommonGround is funded by U.S. corn and soybean checkoff dollars, and as such does not promote any one farming practice or method over another. Volunteers for the effort across the nation agree to approach every conversation in an inclusive, positive, credible and real manner.
Texas CommonGround has several more events planned for later this year, and state volunteers have already presented at several events across the state.
Find out more about CommonGround at FindOurCommonGround.com. Female farmers interested in joining the conversation and being a part of CommonGround can contact Texas Corn Producers at email@example.com or 806.763.2676.