By Julie Vrazel

Let’s talk food, Texas.

We’re overwhelmed with buzzwords, marketing ploys and labels, not to mention the vast array of choices. How do we know the truth and what’s really best for us?

Organic, conventional, local, natural, GMO-free—we read the labels, but what do they really mean? As consumers, your decisions—and mine—shape our food supplies, and in turn, farming practices.

Animal welfare—it’s another priority of consumers and Texas cattlemen. From niche markets to mainstream consumer markets, ranchers in the Lone Star State play a unique role in providing a safe, nutritious product.

But how that product reaches us can be controversial. Should consumers be concerned about antibiotics, beta-agonists, growth-promoting implants and animal handling methods?

That’s where Food Dialogues: Austin comes into play. Texas Farm Bureau is partnering with the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) to host an open discussion on today’s most pressing food issues. Inspired by a new generation of people who love to eat, the Food Dialogues: Austin will be an honest discussion to help Texas consumers reconnect with their food and the farmers and ranchers who grow it.

Two panel discussions—“Animal welfare: Beyond the hype” and “Farming practices. Consumer interpretation.”—will take place. Get your questions answered by panels of farmers, ranchers and academics.

Join the discussion Sept. 18. RSVP online to be a part of the live audience or follow the conversation using the hashtag #FoodD.

Let’s get answers.