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Farmers And Ranchers Reach Out To Talk To Consumers

It seems that all the big farm groups - from beef and pork producers to sugar and soybean growers — have been paying attention to those "Know Your Farmer" bumper stickers.

And they know lots of Americans — some 42 percent of consumers — think the U.S. is on the wrong track in the way we produce food. This is the finding, of a new survey commissioned by the The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance.

Check out this handy infographic to see what the poll found:

The Alliance staged a virtual town hall meeting today to talk directly with consumers. "The whole purpose is to create a conversation," Chairman Bob Stallman told me this morning.

The survey also found that Americans think about food production a lot, yet 72 percent of consumers say they know nothing or very little about farming or ranching. The ranchers surveyed pretty much agreed.

After years of avoiding sticky topics like antibiotic use in livestock, an industry-initiated dialogue won't resolve all the controversial issues.

But "we can have a rational discussion about why we do what we do," says Stallman. And that's a start.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

A Glimpse Of Listeners' #NPRpoetry — From The Punny To The Profound

It was a simple idea: Would you, our listeners, tweet us poems for National Poetry Month? Your response contained multitudes — haiku, lyrics, even one 8-year-old's ode to her dad's bald spot.
WAMU 88.5

Eating Insects: The Argument For Adding Bugs To Our Diet

Some say eating insects could save the planet, as we face the potential for global food and protein shortages. It's a common practice in many parts of the world, but what would it take to make bugs more appetizing to the masses here in the U.S.? Does it even make sense to try? A look at the arguments for and against the practice known as entomophagy, and the cultural and environmental issues involved.

WAMU 88.5

A Federal Official Shakes Up Metro's Board

After another smoke incident and ongoing single tracking delays for fixes, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced a shake-up of Metro's board.

NPR

'The Guardian' Launches New Series Examining Online Abuse

A video was released this week where female sports journalists were read abusive online comments to their face. It's an issue that reaches far beyond that group, and The Guardian is taking it on in a series called "The Web We Want." NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with series editor Becky Gardiner and writer Nesrine Malik, who receives a lot of online abuse.

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