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Advisory team to help lead Iowa Food & Family Project Team members bring vision, expertise to advance consumer confidence, trust

More than 20 food and agricultural leaders, including a Nevada resident, will help lead conversations with consumers about today’s farms and food system as members of the Iowa Food & Family Project advisory team.

The Iowa Food & Family Project, created by the Iowa Soybean Association in 2011, involves more than 35 partners. Working together, they offer Iowans opportunities to become better acquainted with the dedicated farmers who grow their food and more knowledgeable and confident in how food is grown.

Advisory team members serve a key role in fulfilling this mission. Participants meet twice annually and also serve on working groups to bring vision, insight and expertise to enhance the project’s reach, influence and success.

Michelle Hurd, executive director of the Iowa Grocery Industry Association (IGIA) and advisory team member, says the initiative rallies a broad coalition of food and farming stakeholders around a common mission and purpose.

“Food is an essential part of life and is a centerpiece of almost every occasion,” she says. “Purchasing and preparing food is also an increasingly social activity. Members of the IGIA want to be part of the conversation and answer the questions people have about food choice, safety and affordability.”

Gretta Irwin, executive director and home economist of the Iowa Turkey Federation and a founding Iowa FFP advisory team member, agrees. Farmers, she adds, are eager to share their insight given their role as food providers and environmental stewards.

“Farmers have embraced technology and continually educate themselves on the latest research. But over the years their goal of providing a safe, nutritious and environmentally sustainable protein has not changed.” Irwin says. “Their farms remain family owned and operated. Our turkey farmers, and all farmers, value the opportunity to feed their family, neighbors and Americans.”

Joining Hurd and Irwin as 2014 Iowa FFP advisory team members are:

Nevada resident Sara Clausen, KEY Cooperative; Kim Abels, Iowa Sports Foundation; Cory Berkenes, Iowa Food Bank Association; Nancy Degner, Iowa Beef Industry Council; Chris Freland, Midwest Dairy; Linda Funk, The Soyfoods Council; Joyce Hoppes, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Clarence Hudson, Iowa Sports Foundation; Jeff Jorgenson, Iowa Soybean Association Board of Directors and Jim Knuth, Farm Credit Services of America.

Also: Greta Lang, McCormick Company; Shannon Latham, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, Amanda Rinehart, DuPont Pioneer; Greg Rinehart, Rinehart Family Farms (Ogden); Seth Shannon, American Institute of Architects — Iowa Chapter; Troy Shoen, Feed Energy; Jen Sorenson, Iowa Select Farms; Catherine Swoboda, World Food Prize; Kevin Vinchattle, Iowa Poultry Association; Tony Wilson, Applied Art & Technology, Des Moines; Janet Wilwerding, Iowa Corn Growers Association and Cat Wood of Machine Shed Restaurant.

The Iowa Food & Family Project proudly serves as presenting sponsor of the Iowa Games and supporter of Live Healthy Iowa and engages thousands of Iowa State Fairgoers with unique food and farming exhibits located in the south atrium of the Varied Industries Building. It also conducts innovative activities including “You on the Farm,” a unique program offering families a chance to spend time on an Iowa farm and “Join My Journey” featuring influential “Iowa Girl Eats” blogger Kristin Porter.

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