Posted March 16, 2015
Author Virginia Woolfe quipped, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
And American families, who spend just 11.4 percent of their disposable income on food according to the USDA Economic Research Service, have innumerable choices on how to define what that dinner plate looks like.
That is thanks to the diversity of American farming operations, more than 97 percent of which are owned and operated by families. Yet, even as consumers are increasingly concerned with the origins of their food and how it is produced, they are becoming further removed from the very answers to their questions. For example, according to a survey by CommonGround, while seven out of 10 moms “agree farmers should be a key resource for individuals seeking out information related to food and farming” a much smaller percentage – 1 out of 5 – have actually done so.
To bridge the gap between the field and the supermarket shelf, help celebrate National Agriculture Day on March 18 by finding a farm-food connection.
Within the Sunflower State, Kansas Wheat has teamed up with Kansas Pork Association, Kansas Farm Bureau, Midwest Dairy, Kansas Livestock Association, Kansas Soybean Commission, Kansas Grain Sorghum and Kansas Corn to build the Kansas Farm Food Connection. The group’s mission is “to share the exciting story of Kansas agriculture by connecting farms to families and families to farms to learn, eat and grow together.”
The group hosts events like the ‘Meet the Maker’s dinner on March 5 where farmers and guests cooked meals for Ronald McDonald Charities of Kansas City or the upcoming GMO chef demonstration and panel discussion on April 17 in Kansas City.
Or join the increasing number of farmers who are utilizing online platforms to answer consumer questions about their livelihoods. Take the Peterson Farm Brothers, three brothers and one sister who farm with their parents near Assaria, Kansas. They share regular updates on farming activities, like seeding winter wheat, as well as entertaining musical parodies like “I’m Farming and I Grow It.”
Farmer Derek Klingenberg also produces farming parody videos like “What Does the Farmer Say?” as well as creating #CowArt with his feed truck for holidays like Valentine’s Day. He even plays the trombone!
And, do not forget to follow news and recipes from the National Festival of Breads. The finalists were just announced and will be heading to Kansas in June. And keep following Kansas Wheat on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for the latest and greatest news from the wheat industry.
No matter the question, find the answer directly from the source – the Kansas farmers who work every day to provide American families with the choice of what to put on their dinner plate. After all, as President Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Agriculture…is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness.”
By Julia Debes