Farmers Meet to Increase Food Quality , Decrease Price

Making your food cheaper and safer... Thousands of farmers met today at the Amarillo Civic Center to discuss their future agriculture goals.

Farmers talked about everything from Obama's new agriculture plans to falling commodity prices, and most importantly, what all of that means for your food and your wallet. The big five farming industries were all there. "Wheat, cotton, corn, grain sorghum and peanuts." They all shared the same mission. "To take a good long hard look at how they're going to operate in 2009." Their first task... Tackling farming efficiency. Wheat and corn farmer Jack Norman says, "Hopefully we can produce a cheaper product, better food and fiber at a cheaper price that's safe and available.' Commodities costs are dropping by the day.

Texas Wheat Producers VP Rodney Mosier estimates that "Last year we had 13 dollar a bushel wheat prices. Now they're down in the four to five dollar range." But the prices you pay at the grocery store aren't getting any cheaper. Farmers say, contrary to popular belief, it's not their fault. Texas Corn Producers Board Director David Gibson wants to set the record straight. "We want the consumers who go in and just generally buy cornflakes or buy a loaf of bread to know that what has happened is something that is not the farmer's fault. It's coming with all of that processing."

Their second task of the day - food safety and quality and the farmers we spoke with say meetings like the one today are the best way to improve those things. Norman says, "Visiting with other farmers and ranchers and learning what they're doing and hear their ideas and hopefully I can take some of those back to my county." This was the eighth year farmers came together at this symposium.