Chris Chinn of Missouri and Bo Stone of North Carolina are changing the conversation about agriculture and pork production now that they’ve been selected as Faces of Farming and Ranching.
The two producers are among the four winners of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance’s (USFRA) nationwide spokesperson search, which was launched in the last summer to help put real faces on America’s agriculture industry.
“Chris, Bo and the other winners are passionate about farming and ranching and are eager to share their stories about the innovative ways they continue to improve food production each day,” says Bob Stallman, USFRA chairman and American Farm Bureau Federation president.
There are many misconceptions and questions among consumers about how food gets from the farm to the table, Stallman adds. Chinn, Stone and the other winners, including dairy producer Will Gilmer of Alabama and grain farmer Katie Pratt of Illinois, will share their stories and experiences on a national stage to help answer consumers’ questions about how food is grown and raised.
Chinn opens barn doors
Chinn and her husband, Kevin, are fifth-generation farmers who farm with his parents and brother near Clarence, Mo. They raise 1,500 pigs, and 60 head of cattle, as well as grow corn, soybeans, hay and rye.
“I realize many people are skeptical about technology on the farm,” says Chinn, who has created online videos to provide virtual tours of her family’s swine farm. “I want them to see the values that farm and ranch families have, and understand that our intentions are always to improve the quality of care we give to our animals and land."
Ensuring animal well-being and caring for the environment are top priorities on the Chinn farm. “We want to pass on our family farm to the next generation in better shape than we received it,” says Chinn, who is proud to raise her children on the farm.
Diversity defines Stone's farm
Stone jointly owns P&S Farms near Rowland, N.C., with his parents and wife, Missy. The family grows 2,300 acres of row crops, raise about 10,000 pigs annually and have 60 cows. They also grow strawberries, sweet corn and other vegetables to sell at their roadside market.
“I recognize that farmers in general need to do a better job relaying our message and stories to the consumers of our products,” says Stone, who represents the sixth generation of his family to farm their land. “I hope to reach an audience that doesn’t realize farmers have the same goals as them – to provide a safe, reliable, and affordable source of food while protecting our natural resources."
Through the years, Stone’s family has hosted visitors at their farm, including civic groups, community organizations and school children.
“We have a slogan here that we’re growing the next generation,” says Stone, who feels fortunate to raise his three children on the farm. “The Faces of Farming and Ranching is a very important role. We’re passionate about agriculture and look forward to helping consumers understand what we do here on the farm every day.”
Tour the winners’ farms
To learn more about the Faces of Farming and Ranching program and to view video interviews with Stone, Chinn and the winners, click here.