(UPDATED COVERAGE, 4:55 p.m.)  The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance is sponsoring a video contest to help farmers put a face and name on America’s food producers, and hopefully change negative attitudes about commercial production.

UPDATED: Dispelling the concept of ‘Big Ag’The Chesterfield, Mo.-based alliance’s “Faces of Farming and Ranching” contest promotes standout farmers and ranchers sharing their stories through short videos. The group plans to award the winner $10,000 in cash and contribute to the entrant’s preferred charity.

Entry deadline is Sept. 8.

“When it comes to modern agriculture, farmers and ranchers are doing wonderful things to bring food to the table,” according to a news release. “But as you’ve likely experienced, the pictures and perceptions people have of farmers and ranchers often do not match reality.”

To keep the dialogue going, the alliance has planned Food Dialogues, a series of panel discussions on key agriculture topics. The Nov. 15 event in New York is scheduled to tackle antibiotics, biotechnology and food marketing.

The group is funded primarily by protein and row crop producers. and Western Growers and the United Fresh Produce Association used to be dues-paying members.

Because produce growers don’t face the same production issues, Ray Gilmer, United Fresh’s vice president of communications, said the produce industry isn’t very involved in the organization. Gilmer is a member of the alliance’s budget committee.

Gilmer said United Fresh also participated in a Food Dialogues event in Washington, D.C., recently.

The group is funded primarily by protein and row crop producers, but includes Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association.

Because produce growers don’t face the same production issues, Ray Gilmer, United Fresh’s vice president of communications, said produce doesn’t play a big role in the organization.

He said it’s good the produce industry’s name is on the group’s roster and said United Fresh offers to provide produce industry representatives to speak.

Gilmer said United Fresh also participated in a Food Dialogues event in Washington, D.C., recently.

“A lot of farmers feel frustrated and think they’re getting a bad rap,” Gilmer said. “They’re dealing with a lot of different issues involving consumers. Bloggers can become sources of information as well as detractors. They’re trying to break through all these people creating an image for them and talk directly to consumers.”