Chris Chinn, a fifth-generation Missouri pork producer, is not shy to talk about agriculture, and it’s this passion and drive that helped her become one of the newest faces of agriculture.
Chinn and three other agriculture producers from across the nation were recently named as winners of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) “Faces of Farming and Ranching” national contest. Chinn and her fellow winners will now be the spokespeople for the agriculture industry, initiating dialogue, sharing stories and bridging the gap between producers and consumers.
The USFRA’s contest initially began last summer, when a call went out to agriculture producers willing to become the newest spokespeople for the industry. A panel of judges and public voting helped to select the winning final four. View the video above to see Chinn’s winning video.
Chinn comes naturally to the spotlight and has spent several years speaking for the industry. Her 2008 YouTube video, taking viewers inside a modern pork barn, was flagged by animal rights activists as inappropriate, and YouTube responded to this by blocking the content from members who were younger than 18. After public outrage, YouTube eventually unblocked the content.
In 2011, Chinn also encouraged American Farm Bureau Federation members to engage with consumers to tell their agriculture story. Last year, just as the agriculture community was deep in the debate on child farm labor, Chinn testified in front of the House Small Business’ Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade that the proposed regulations would have negative impacts on rural America. The proposal was eventually withdrawn.
Chinn has also not shied away from other hot topics facing the pork industry on her blog, where she discusses issues such as gestation stall bans. Find more from her blog here.
Three other winners were also named. Will Gilmer and his father own and operate a dairy farm, which has been in continuous operation since Will’s grandfather established it in the early 1950s. They currently milk 200 Holstein cows and raise their own replacement heifers, while managing 600 acres of land used for pasture and forage production.
Katie Pratt and her husband, Andy (a seventh generation farmer), currently farm in partnership with Andy’s family. They raise corn, soybeans and seed corn for a regional family-owned company. They welcome tour groups to their farm as part of a family tradition, which started back in the early 1970s.
Bo Stone jointly owns P&S Farms with his parents and wife, Missy. 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. Bo represents the sixth generation to farm their land.
For more information about the New Faces of Farming & Ranching visit www.FoodDialogues.com.