Ag Day 2012, is on March 8, but on the day prior, the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) will present a live-streaming, on-line discussion about the future of food and farming.

USFRA is a coalition of more than 70 farmer- and rancher-led organizations and agricultural partners.

The issue on March 7 will focus on the apparent contradiction that is thriving in the United States—that  technology is as a catalyst for improving some many developments and for most industries. However, there is a growing skepticism and opposition associated with technology applied to growing, raising and producing food.

The USFRA session will address the role technology plays and how it can be used responsibly to meet the growing needs of the United States and the world, as well as address the concerns of families and the need for healthy choices for all.

“America’s farmers and ranchers will come together to discuss whether innovations in agriculture are creating environmental improvements and economic growth or perpetuating public fears. This dialogue will explore ways to foster a more constructive conversation around these important issues,” say USFRA organizers.

Alan Bjerga, of Bloomberg News, will moderate a panel, including:

  • Roger Beachy, former director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA and president emeritus of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.
  • Bryan Dierlam, director of government affairs at Cargill.
  • Eileen Langdon, family farmer and veterinarian from North Carolina.
  • Pat O’Toole, Wyoming and Colorado rancher and AGree advisory committee member.
  • Dave White, chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service

The event will be held on Wednesday, March 7, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EDT) in Room 902, of the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. Online access is available at the Food Dialogues’ website.

You also can follow the event on Twitter at @USFRA and use #FoodD.

“USFRA is the first time that agricultural groups at the national, regional and state levels have collaborated to lead the dialogue and answer Americans’ questions about how we raise our food – while being stewards of the environment, responsibly caring for our animals and maintaining strong businesses and communities,” the group points out.