Food Dialogues in Columbus

As more questions and concerns about biotechnology and confusion about the oft-used term ”sustainability” emerge for grocery shoppers and diners around the country, people are looking for answers.

Some of those answers are being provided today, The Food Dialogues: Ohio is being live streamed at from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. EDT.

The Food Dialogues event series has been in multiple cities around the country and is coordinated by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance at the national level. The Ohio Soybean Council and the Ohio farm Bureau Federation have worked on and sponsored the details at the state level. Today’s Food Dialogues: Ohio is featuring two distinct discussions one focused on biotechnology and another on sustainability. The panels will be moderated by WTVN talk radio host Joel Riley.

The first panel discussion, “Biotechnology (GMOs) And Your Food,” will explore the role of science when it comes to issues tied to food. Experts will address tough questions like, “Do GMOs present long-term health risks?” “How do biotech crops affect the environment?” “Why do some farmers choose to use biotech seeds while others choose to farm organically?”, and, “If other regions of the world restrict GM foods, why don’t we here in America?”

The second panel discussion, “Sustainability And Your Food,” will focus on how our food production system impacts the environment and our economy. Farmers, ranchers, academics and industry experts will talk about what “sustainability” means to them, and food producers will have the opportunity to share what they do on the farm to ensure a safe, sustainable food supply.

Today’s panelists for biotechnology are Allen Armstrong, an Ohio Grain farmer, Andy Michel, OSU Extension entomologist; Casey Hoy, the OSU Kellogg Endowed Chair in Agricultural Ecosystem Management; Doug Billman, an Ohio organic dairy farmer; Jane Boback, a dietician; Mike Sopko Ohio Restaurant Association Board Member; and Ruth MacDonald, a registered dietician with Iowa State University. The panelists discussing sustainability are Pat Hord, Ohio hog farmer; Ben Sippel, Ohio hog, cattle, sheep, dairy and vegetable farmer; Joe Logan, director of ag programs for the Ohio Environmental Council; Marty Matlock, a biological and agricultural engineering professor at the University of Arkansas; Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks; and food blogger Stephanie Eakins.

The panels are fielding questions from the audience and through online followers and the discussion has been very interesting. And, the bottom line is, agriculture is talking, today we get to see who is listening.


Ben Sipple from Morrow County talks about his takeaways from the sustainability panel at the event.

FD Ben Sipple

Doug Billman, an organic dairy farmer from Burbank, Ohio was on the biotechnology panel.

FD Doug Billman

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