Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

Jennifer Cross: Helping Families Understand Food and Farming

News / FBNews March 19, 2020

Credit: Edwin Remsberg 

By Cyndie Shearing

Jennifer Cross, a farmer and Farm Bureau leader from Maryland, enjoys helping people learn about food and farming.

“Helping people understand and trust that the food farmers and ranchers produce – and the practices they use are safe – is a win for everyone,” Cross said. “I share my personal experiences, as well as science and research, to help consumers sort through myths and misinformation.”

Conveying support for consumer choice has helped Cross forge connections with consumers who want to know more about where the food they eat comes from.

“The fact is whether they choose locally grown, organic, food off the grocery store shelves or frozen, it’s all safe and okay,” she said.

Cross has found that outreach in inner cities often requires creative thinking. However, “Sharing recipes for healthy food that costs pennies and makes many meals” has been a successful tactic for connecting with consumers facing economic challenges, Cross explained.

She represents Maryland Farm Bureau on the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee, which announced in January that more than $237,000 was raised in 2019 for Ronald McDonald House Charities and its network of local chapters to help provide families with a “home away from home” while their child receives medical treatment. The compassion and caring shown by Farm Bureau members across the country in raising funds for RMHC chapters is another successful avenue of connection with members of the non-farming public.

Cyndie Shearing is director of communications at the American Farm Bureau Federation.

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Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, my name is Zippy Duvall. I am a third-generation farmer and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, and I am pleased to offer this testimony, on behalf of the American Farm Bureau Federation and Farm Bureau members across this country.

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Credit: pedrik 

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall commented today on USDA’s decision to extend the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) application deadline. AFBF sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting an extension for farmers and ranchers. “AFBF applauds Secretary Vilsack for his swift response to our call for an extension to the CFAP application deadline. Coronavirus aid is a lifeline for farmers and ranchers who are suffering from losses due to the pandemic. Recent severe weather and the suspension of CFAP payments led to challenges and confusion surrounding the application process. The extra time will help ensure America’s farmers have the opportunity to apply for help. “We encourage USDA to quickly complete its review of CFAP so resources can be distributed to the people who are working to feed families across the country.”

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