Water: Not Going To Be Any Ms. Aubrey Bettencourt, Executive Director with California Water Alliance, passionately shares her views on the trends in the politicization of water in California and the rest of the US. Ms. Bettencourt says we [in agriculture] need to tell consumers and the public at large what we want them to know [about the water crisis]. "We have to speak to it with confidence and show that we know what we are doing".
Negative Media Needs Your Attention Ms. Janet Riley, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Member Services at North American Meat Institute, provides thoughts on media coverage and conversations and how reporting can be skewed against agriculture. Ms. Riley offers several approaches to helping address the story gap: be active in the conversations through proactive engagement; don’t just tell – show through the use of visuals, videos, like glass walls; and communicate directly using multiple vehicles from Twitter to the Jon Stewart show.
California Is Loosing Freshwater Dr. Jay Famiglietti, Associate Professor at University of California, Irvine and Senior Water Scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, shares data and analysis of the issues of water, with a focus on the current water problems in California. Key message: groundwater storage over the last 40 years has been seriously declining, with future projections looking bad for those needing water. Dr. Famiglietti's message to workers in agriculture "Take ownership [of water conversations], clearly articulate the issues, and become industry leaders and stewards".
Future Of Ag Needs Collaboration Mr. Ted McKinney, Director of Indiana Department of Agriculture, welcomes attendees to the NIAA Annual Conference titled 'Water and the Future of Animal Agriculture'. Mr. McKinney shares the back story of how Indianapolis built itself into the city it is today with a sports, life sciences, and agriculture focus. Mr. McKinney closes with thoughts on how collaboration with consumers, food companies, and even activist group, will be key to solving issues in agriculture.
Focus On Staying Viable Ambassador Darci Vetter, Chief Agriculture Negotiator, Office of the United States Trade Representative, provides perspective on the recent trade conversations around the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Ambassador Vetter outlines the issues and challenges of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and why it is important to the USA. With 40% of the global economy represented, this trade agreement represents an opportunity to expanding markets and leveling the playing field for US agriculture. Ambassador Vetter closes with what the next steps are for the TPP. "We won’t accept a deal for the sake of a deal, for us, the substance is what drives the timeline." says Ambassador Vetter.