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Farm Bureau Developing Relationships with Food Companies

Farm Bureau is increasing engagement with companies along the food supply chain to build strategic partnerships. Those relationships are yielding benefits for American famers.

Sarah Brown Dirkes, is in her fifth year with the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) as the Executive Director of Industry Relations. She is passionate about working to build strategic partnerships between farmers and ranchers and the companies who deal directly with consumers. Dirkes spoke to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Board of Directors about the importance of farmers having open and tough discussions with supply chain companies across the country.

“Every time I go home to my family’s apple farm in upstate New York, I see something new that we are implementing to improve our operation and to grow a better product for the consumer. My brother and I are the eighth generation on our farm and change is imperative for growth and to sustain generational family farm operations. We need to have tough conversations and identify where we can collaborate with food industry partners to pave the way for success for American farmers and ranchers in light of the competitive marketplace in which food companies operate.”

As we look ahead, companies on each end of the supply chain will want to stay competitive and continue to seek marketing opportunities to differentiate their products. As this happens, Farm Bureau will continue to foster relationships to help companies make these decisions in a way that also work for farmers.

Dirkes says food companies are now coming to talk to Farm Bureau about sustainability, animal welfare, and labor standards because of the relationships that have been formed and incubated over the past several years. “This is the dream and we hope this continues as we work to amplify the voice of America’s farm and ranch families.” Dirkes said.

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