Home Industry News Economics Former Presidential Ag Advisor Ray Starling to Keynote 2023 Stakeholders Summit

Former Presidential Ag Advisor Ray Starling to Keynote 2023 Stakeholders Summit

Outsider influence in food and farming is growing, and the animal agriculture community is often pitted against those claiming the food system is “broken.” Ray Starling, author and attorney, will consider why this seems to be the case and what we can do to safeguard our future at the Animal Agriculture Alliance’s 2023 Stakeholders Summit, themed “Partners in Progress” and set for May 4-5 in Arlington, Va. Starling’s new book, “Farmers Versus Foodies,” is available to attendees to purchase at a discounted rate during registration. An initial agenda has been posted on the event website and early registration discounts are available through March 10. Save your seat today!

In his keynote, Starling will discuss what he calls the “farmer versus foodie conundrum” that has the potential to impact food security for generations to come. On one side are “insiders” who understand the food system and are rightly proud of it. On the other side are “outsiders” who champion the in-vogue notion that the food system is “broken.” In his keynote session, Starling will examine:

  • How “foodies” are impacting public policy through their purchasing influence and through growing legislative prowess;
  • How advocates are leveraging the legal system to effectuate their desired outcomes, with farming interests typically on the other side;
  • How optimistic, socially conscious investors are, even if misguided, driving tremendous change in food and farming;
  • How American farmers and ranchers are not just susceptible to the American “foodie” but to “foodies” around the world; and
  • How today’s cultural trends offer an environment in which many ill-advised ideas about farming and agribusiness can flourish.

“The future of the food system continues to be an area of growing discussion – with policymakers, investors, food brands, and consumers alike joining the dialog,” said Abby Kornegay, manager, issues and engagement at the Animal Agriculture Alliance. “There are continued calls for food system transformation and reform from those not directly involved in the production of our food, and the differing views and visions for the future of farming and food production will likely take us to two very different places. Starling’s keynote session will provide insight into this disconnect between farmers and ‘foodies’ and how the food and farming communities can bridge the gap.”

As general counsel of the North Carolina Chamber and president of the North Carolina Chamber Legal Institute, Starling sets strategy for litigation. He also serves as the lead for public policy development functions of the chamber, assessing and advising on current and emerging laws, rulings, and regulations affecting the chamber and business in North Carolina. Prior to joining the North Carolina Chamber team, Starling served as chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and principal agriculture advisor to the President of the United States. Starling grew up on a century farm in southeastern North Carolina and credits that experience as having more to do with his career path than any other influence or opportunity.

Be sure to check the Summit website for the most up-to-date information. You can also follow the hashtag #AAA23 for periodic updates about the event. For general questions about Summit, please contact summit@animalagalliance.org or call (703) 562-5160.

About the Alliance:

The Animal Agriculture Alliance safeguards the future of animal agriculture and its value to society by bridging the communication gap between the farm and food communities. We connect key food industry stakeholders to arm them with responses to emerging issues. We engage food chain influencers and promote consumer choice by helping them better understand modern animal agriculture. We protect by exposing those who threaten our nation’s food security with damaging misinformation.

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