Ask a Farmer Anything—Today!

August 20, 2015

We’ve partnered with the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) to talk with farmers and ranchers across the country about what goes into their everyday lives, and how they grow and raise food.

Have you ever wanted to ask a farmer about GMOsanimal welfare, or just how they go about their day? Have questions about how farmers grow vegetables or how they manage to feed an army of livestock? Well, today, August 20, you’ll be able to do just that over on our Hotline

Shop the Story

We'll be collecting questions to ask farmers from across the United States about everything from sustainability to antibiotics to hormones, and even thoughts on the use of crop inputs like pesticides or fertilizers.  Then we'll be heading out into the field, armed with your inquiries, to talk directly with the people who help provide the food we eat. We'll be bringing the answers to you in a series of videos this fall to show you what it's like to be a farmer in the 21st century.

If you miss the Hotline, or have a follow-up question, it’s no problem! Just add a question in the comments below and we’ll make sure it gets into the rotation.

Photo by Eric Moran

We’ve partnered with the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) to talk with farmers and ranchers across the country about what goes into their everyday lives, and how they grow and raise food.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Dan Pullman
    Dan Pullman
  • Lindsay-Jean Hard
    Lindsay-Jean Hard
  • Alexandra Stafford
    Alexandra Stafford
  • Annada Rathi
    Annada Rathi
  • Karl Rosaen
    Karl Rosaen
I love oysters and unfussy sandwiches.


Dan P. December 15, 2015
Farmers and Ranchers Alliance .. really? Doesn't strike me as a kindred spirit in mission with Food52. Ask them about there view on Organic production practices. Or Gestation crate for their pigs.
Lindsay-Jean H. December 15, 2015
You asked, and now the answers are here from our trips to farms with the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance. The first of four installments is up today! Read it here:
Alexandra S. August 25, 2015
From what I've read, the average age of the American farmer is 57 years. How would you encourage younger people to get involved in farming? Is it feasible for someone like me and my husband (early thirties) to start farming if we've never worked on a farm? And if it is, how do you recommend we start?
Annada R. August 20, 2015
I grew up in India but have been living in Western U.S. for more than 15 years now. I find that vegetables here esp cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, green beans leave out a lot of water when cooked. . They also cook a lot faster. But in India they take a while to cook, tend to have an almost al dente bite and don't water so much. Why?
Karl R. August 20, 2015
Any rules of thumb for finding humanely raised meat when you don't have the benefit of knowing the farmer directly? Whole Foods has a good rating scale, there's animal welfare approved labeling, a few brands I trust (AppleGate, Organic Prairie), any other tips?
breakbread August 20, 2015
-What practices do you employ to feed your family (i.e., organic only or sometimes, antibiotic-free meats, no to specific animal meat or vegetables) and for what reasons (other than religious)?
-It would appear based on my social media news feeds that other countries have a strong(er?) lead on GMO labeling, health consciousness and sustainable farming practices. How do you personally experience the change in attitude here in America? What changes have you made recently in how you raise crops/livestock?
-Can you afford to crop-rotate and sow cover-crops for a season thereby having that tract of land inactive for a period?
-If profit wasn't the driving force (or if there wasn't any government subsidy) what is your "dream" farm? Do your practices change in any way?
Debbie M. August 20, 2015
I would like to know how much pesticides are used on our fruits and vegetables and just how bad are they for us. Thanking you in advance for your time and for feeding America!
Jada E. August 20, 2015
Would like to know why my peach tree will not fruit. I have 2. Last year only one had fruit but it all fell off! This year nothing from either tree. The trees are 3 years old.
Julie T. August 20, 2015
Do you believe it would be possible to phase out the use of CAFOs in the U.S.? What would it take, and what do you see as the biggest obstacle to their elimination?
Verena August 20, 2015
Looking forward to this!