Friday, March 21, 2014

Bridging the Gap Between Farm and Fork, 365 Days A Year

Submitted by David B. Schmidt, International Food Information Council, Alliance to Feed the Future

What happens to the crops and livestock farmers and ranchers grow between the time they are harvested and the time they arrive as food on our tables? How do products like eggs, cereal and ketchup arrive to our homes ready to eat and stay that way until we make them part of our meals?

Those of us working in the farming and food sectors may take the answers to questions like these for granted. We understand the amount of labor that goes into both producing food from the land and preparing it for transportation, how to properly store it and what goes into the quick preparation of healthful meals.

When the Alliance to Feed the Future began preparing curricula about today’s food for teachers of elementary and middle school students, we knew the space between farm and fork is one about which most people outside our industry simply don’t have good, reliable information. For this reason, our K-8 resources, available free online, use fun activities and engaging graphics to focus on three essential steps leading to every American meal: production, processing and transportation.

The marvels of modern agriculture go far beyond the farm. We have endless choices for delicious and diverse cuisine 365 days a year thanks to farmers and ranchers around the world and the many others who help their bounty make it to our plates.  Advancements at every link in the food chain have allowed us to eat healthfully while spending less time and money getting our meals to the point of consumption.

Ag Day is all about celebrating the success that modern food production has been able to achieve with technology and hard work, while showing real images and impacts of today’s farms to the wider world.

We are proud to be one of many Ag Day partners empowering teachers to share the story of what happens on America’s farms and ranches—and beyond.

David Schmidt is President & CEO of the International Food Information Council, which coordinates the Alliance to Feed the Future.

The Alliance to Feed the Future is an umbrella network made up of 121 scientific societies, universities, industry and commodity groups that are working to raise awareness and improve understanding of the benefits and necessity of modern food production and technology in order to meet global demand.

For more information about the Alliance and to access its farm to fork educational curricula, visit