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August — What an exciting summer!

Posted August 5, 2015 at 3:03 pm

This summer marks my third year partnering with the Iowa Food and Family Project, and looking back I had no idea what lie ahead of me!

Three years ago I was simply a food blogger who, despite growing up in the Midwest, had no prior farm experience besides building a raised garden bed in the backyard complete with a teeny tiny watermelon that I coddled until it turned black. That said, when the opportunity to partner with the Iowa Food and Family Project came along I figured I’d get the chance to meet a couple farmers, learn a few agriculture facts, and maybe even drive a tractor or two.

My expectations were absolutely exceeded when I had the chance to do all those things (except “drive” a tractor – hello, auto-steer!) and more!

Meeting farmers and their families has easily been the highlight of my experience. Listening to stories of their decades – even century – old farms and how the work is in their blood is indescribable. The way Iowa’s farmers go to great lengths to protect our fertile farmland so it can continue to lead the US, and world, in production of goods such as corn, soy, and eggs for generations to come is honorable, and the fact that the farmers I meet feed their families the food they raise speaks for itself. 

I also love sharing agriculture tidbits I’ve learned along with way with, well, anyone who will listen. Pointing out no till vs tilled farm fields on road trips with my friends leads to bigger conversations about agriculture as a whole. Telling the woman next to me in the egg case that Iowa leads the nation in egg production may encourage her to share the fun fact with her kids. I like to think that everything I’ve learned and shared will have a domino effect leading to bigger and better conversations between Iowa’s farmers and consumers.

This year I am thrilled to be working with Cristen Clark of Food and Swine on the Iowa Food and Family Project team. Cristen is an award-winning cook and truly genuine person, and brings a farmer’s perspective to our little team of bloggers, as she and her family own a hog farm not far from Des Moines. She and I connect on being Mamas to little ones and growing up in Central Iowa (we even attended rival high schools!) but are anything but foes when it comes to our goal of connecting farmers and consumers. In a few short months I have learned so much from Cristen, not only about hog production but how one-sided media negatively affects Iowa’s farmers. It is my honor to help Cristen and other farmers get their message of safe and responsible farming out...

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