Discovery Networks will feature farmer/rancher videos

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Real farmers and ranchers will be telling their stories in the weeks ahead to help Americans learn more about how food is grown and raised. The effort includes documentary-style videos that will begin airing across the Discovery Communications’ networks (TLC, Discovery, Discovery Science, Discovery Fit & Health, Identification Discovery, Planet Green and Animal Planet).

The videos will run from Nov. 14 through Dec. 25, under a partnership between U.S. Farmers &Ranchers Alliance and Discovery Networks. The project will include three, 60-second videos and one long-format video, which will run from 4 to 7 minutes. The program will be promoted through a targeted online banner ad campaign on Discovery Communications’ online properties as well.

Along with real-world farmers and ranchers, the videos will feature U.S. consumers – not actors– to talk about how food is grown and raised. Discovery identified and secured the consumers. “These individuals are real consumers, who have real questions and make real decisions about the healthy choices they make for themselves and their family every day,” say USFRA officials.

The conversations within the videos will center on the agricultural community’s commitment to making continuous improvements, as well as the role farmers and ranchers play in providing healthy food choices for everyone.

The farmers and ranchers who will participate in the videos include:

  • Shana Beattie, livestock and grain farmer, Sumner, Neb.
  • Jeff Fowle, farmer/rancher, Etna, Calif.
  • Ken Oneto, crop and produce farmer, Elk Grove, Calif.  
  • Dino Giacomazzi, dairy farmer, Hanford, Calif.
  • Scott Long, pork producer, Manteca, Calif.  
  • Jill Benson, egg producer, San Joaquin Valley, Calif.

“The videos reinforce farmers’ and ranchers’ commitments to having a conversation with consumers and answering questions about food production,” according to USFRA. The over-arching goal is to provide more transparency and build trust with consumers who have little to no contact with farms and ranches or the people who run them.

“USFRA is creating a ‘big table,’ inviting everyone who cares about the future of food and how farmers and ranchers provide healthy choices for people everywhere,” USFRA officials add. “As in every business, farmers and ranchers are ultimately accountable to what consumers decide they want to eat. We need to continue to take concrete steps to make sure we are operating in ways that consumers support.”

You also can view the videos online.


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Tracey Chiancola    
Massachusetts  |  November, 15, 2011 at 02:17 PM

I hope you will also show the dark side of animal agriculture that occurs daily in the confined animal feeding operations. 99% of all meat consumed in the USA comes from a factory farm. Modern animal agricultural practices are abusive and inhumane. I am very disappointed that the Discovery channel is promoting Big Ag with what I can only imagine will present animals "happily" living on a farm. Will you also show the truth behind how these docile and defenseless beings are slaughtered? Will you air the grief and sorrow of a dairy cow after her baby is taken from her at 1-2 days old? Will you show these baby calves in veal crates? Will you show laying hens in battery cages? Will you show piglets being castrated and having their tails docked without any pain relief or veterinary care? Will you show the horns of cows being burned out of their heads with a soldering iron? Will you show their tails being docked with bolt cutters? For these are "common" practices on farms today. Don't be a puppet for Big Ag by promoting "happy cows", for as long as they are oppressed and slaughtered, how can they ever be happy.

Karen Tysver    
MA  |  November, 15, 2011 at 03:22 PM

The trailer seems to romanticize the old west and cowboys, but as you said, Tracey, this is a very small part of animal agriculture. This is the best time of the cattles lives and it is still brutal. Why doesn't Discovery Channel really let people discover the truth behind CAFO's.

Laura Bruess    
Colorado  |  November, 15, 2011 at 08:10 PM

I agree with Tracey and Karen. Show the reality of the 20,000 animals slaughtered every minute in the US. Show the mutilations, the confinement, the suffering to death. Healthy? Only if you consider cancer, diabetes, and heart disease healthy.

Kansas  |  November, 16, 2011 at 09:07 AM

You're preaching to the wrong choir on this website. This is a targeted site for ag producers and large animal veterinarians, who work every day to provide quality lives and medical care to these animals. Before you condemn all of agriculturee, you should probably get off the PETA/HSUS propaganda trough, educate yourselves, speak with actual producers, and come to your own conclusions.

Becky Bensen    
South Dakota  |  November, 16, 2011 at 09:16 AM

What is wrong with you people. The Ag industry including the livestock producers, are the lifeline of America. We are able to provide food and jobs for the citizens of our country and you should be thankful that as a nation we are not dependant on another to feed us. I do say there are a few "bad seeds" in the industry but you must know, that is not the majority. It is unfortunate that all you normally see reported in the media is the negative regarding the livestock industry. Kudos to the Discovery channel for showing the other side...the producers that are doing it right and proud to state thier occupation!

Peg Cook    
New York State  |  November, 16, 2011 at 11:08 AM

I noticed that there are no farms from the Northeast! In New York State we have VERY STRICT regulations for CAFO size farms. Since I have been involved in Agriculture as a Consultant over the last 40 years, I have seen all types of management. Most importantly, what I have witnessed have been Farmers improving their Best Management Practices and manage for economic and ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS!!! This includes treating their animals humanely as well as providing the best possible living conditions for their animals. We do have quite a few farms that are not CAFO size and that VOLUNTEERLY work at maintaing compliance with regulations, even though it is done volunteerly. My question is are people trying to drive agriculture out of the United States? Do you people know where your food comes from - its not the grocery stores. Also, more and more the public is seeing locally grown produce and animal meats. Yes, some "bad" managers and abuse does occur. However, I know for a fact that in NYS, this is heavily addressed in the regulations and folks caught doing this type of crime are severly punished. My farms provide better care for their animals than in their own homes. Why would Farmers want to jeopardize their livihoods with the very thing (animals) that bring in their income? The public should support their local farms and Farmers Markets because this is where their best quality food is.

Madison, Wis.  |  November, 16, 2011 at 01:09 PM

Tracey, as someone who is in the business of producing food for America, I'd really like to know why you feel this way about animal agriculture. My family and I work hard each and every day to ensure that our animals are receiving the best care possible to produce the safest, healthiest product for our consumption. Your broad generalizations you describe fail to tell the whole story and are intended to mislead consumers. Some of your statements are downright false. I encourage you to visit a farm and talk to a farmer about why they produce food the way they do.

Indiana  |  November, 16, 2011 at 03:37 PM

Americans deserve choice in the food they buy and farmers deserve choice in they way they produce that food; it's unfortunate that some respondents see this as an opportunity to be so negative. I have to ask; have you been on a farm? Do you know if the claims you recite are accurate? These videos are meant to represent the 1.5% of the population who farm and ranch, a minority who has difficulty in connecting with mainstream America. Not because they're bad people, but because they're caring for the land and animals as they best know how.

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