Tag Archives: farm to fork dinner

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Farm-To-Fork Dinner Video Recaps Connections and Conversations

Hungry for Truth’s annual Farm-to-Fork dinner is an opportunity for farmers and South Dakotans to gather around the table, share a meal and engage in conversations about how food is grown and raised. Our 2018 event took place at the Country Apple Orchard near Harrisburg, where more than 180 people came together to talk about topics such as environmental sustainability, pesticide use and food safety.

“The Farm-To-Fork dinner really brings the mission of the Hungry for Truth initiative to life. It’s a great way for us to personally share the truth about how we do things on our farms and honestly address questions or concerns,” said Vermillion farmer Jerry Schmitz. “Despite public perceptions, 98 percent of farms are still family owned in South Dakota, and we’re making more sustainable choices to ensure that tradition continues for generations to come.”

Let’s look at a few highlights from the evening, which included delicious local fare.

Do you have a question for a South Dakota farmer? Leave it in the comments below. Don’t forget to scroll down and sign up for our monthly e-newsletter to get delicious recipes and local farm-to-table stories delivered to your inbox.

Hungry for Truth is an initiative about food and farming funded by the South Dakota soybean checkoff. The goal is to connect South Dakotans with the farmers who grow and raise their food. 

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Farm-to-Fork Dinner Unites Rural + Urban South Dakotans in Conversations Around the Table

Hungry for Truth held its third annual Farm-to-Fork Dinner in June, bringing to life its mission of uniting farmers and consumers around the dinner table to have open conversations about how food is grown and raised. Approximately 180 farmers and South Dakotans gathered at the Country Apple Orchard near Harrisburg for a social hour and meal featuring local food and beverages.

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

While the emerald orchard trees, luscious pink peonies and rustic wood architecture created a picturesque backdrop, the pinnacle element of the evening was the opportunity to share stories and connect.

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

“My favorite part of attending the Farm-to-Fork Dinner is the opportunity to hear more about what the farmers do year-round to create healthy food. There’s so much more to farming than just planting a seed and harvesting the crop,” said guest Lexie Frankman. “Plus, it’s a really fun vibe, and the menu is full of fresh, local favorites.”

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Sandra Melstad agreed. “As someone who works in public health, I appreciate resources that can help families eat and live healthier lifestyles. Learning more about locally grown, sustainable foods is important to me and the people I serve. Hungry for Truth does a great job of bringing farmers and families together at this event,” she explained.

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Dinner began with a welcome from Vermillion farmer Jerry Schmitz. He described his farm and how he grows soybeans, corn, apples and also keeps bees for local honey producers. Other farmers, including Jeff Thompson, Walt Bones and Alan Merril addressed the crowd throughout the meal, explaining how their family farms are becoming more sustainable.

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

“Our farms have changed to grow and raise food more efficiently but we’re also committed to caring for the soil, water, air and wildlife for future generations,” stated Walt, who gave some specific examples of technology and how it’s helped farmers grow more with less land and resources. “If farmers today used the techniques from the 1950s, we wouldn’t be able to grow enough food to feed approximately 131 million people. That’s equal to the number of people who live in the 9 most populated U.S. states.”

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Alan shared how technology has helped him be more efficient with pesticide application and making sure just the right amount is applied to the crop at the right time.

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Guest Karla Santi said she appreciates learning more about food and farmer safety when it comes to pesticides. “Pesticides can be useful in protecting crops, but it was good to learn about the growth of biotechnology products compared with pesticides. It’s good to know farmers use technology that helps keep them and our food safe.”

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

For Karla and other urbanites whose regular connection to the farm is the grocery store or a farmers market, sharing a meal around the table with a local farm family is a special treat.

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

“Farming is really key to being a South Dakotan. It’s a big part of who we are, and I’m excited to be part of celebrating it,” said Natalie Eisenberg.

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018 Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2018

Hungry for Truth is an initiative about food and farming funded by the South Dakota soybean checkoff. The goal is to connect South Dakotans with the farmers who grow and raise their food.

 

Hungry for Truth Farm-to-Fork Dinner 2017

Enjoy an Exclusive Look at Hungry for Truth’s Farm-to-Fork Dinner

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth so much more. Here’s a look at the exclusive Hungry for Truth Farm-to-Fork dinner festivities, which brought farmers and community members together during an unforgettable summer evening on the farm. From the local food and the chic décor to great questions and conversations, the evening set the table for sharing stories about South Dakota agriculture.

This video gives you a glimpse at the annual event, which brings real South Dakotans and farmers together to enjoy food that’s grown safely and sustainably on real local farms.

 

 

Our next dinner is coming up in June. Stay tuned to find out how you can get an invite to this event from South Dakota soybean farmers. We’ll be sharing news soon with our newsletter subscribers and on social media. Be sure you’re part of our community so you don’t miss out. In the meantime, see photos and read about activities from past events in these blogs.

Farm-to-Fork Dinner Conversation With Cynthia Mickelson

Farm-to-Fork Dinner Connects South Dakotans Through Conversations and Local Foods

Farm-to-Fork Dinner Brings Sioux Falls Urbanites to the Farm

 

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner

Farm-To-Fork Dinner Conversation with Cynthia Mickelson

Even with all the fun memories we’ve made this summer, we’re still talking about the fun we had on the farm for the Farm-to-Fork dinner on June 15. It was a great night and the perfect setting to have conversations about how food is grown and raised in South Dakota. What did people talk about? We asked Sioux Falls school board member and mother of three, Cynthia Mickelson, to share a little bit about her experience.

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner

Why did you attend Hungry for Truth’s Farm-to-Fork dinner?

My husband Mark and I received an invitation last year, but were unable to attend. Afterward I checked out Hungry for Truth online and I loved it! The initiative does a great job of proactively communicating with families. We were so excited to be invited again this year.

What kinds of questions or fears do you have about food?

As of now, none, but I used to! The hysteria over GMOs hit when we lived in the suburbs of Chicago and I totally fell for it. I read a lot online and thought I will never feed my family foods made with GMO ingredients. I thought they were some sort of poison. But, after I researched them further and realized that GMOs have been around for more than 20 years, I learned just how safe they are and there was nothing to worry about.

 What conversations did you have at the Farm-to-Fork dinner?

One conversation that stood out was with a Yankton farmer who is having issues expanding his family hog facility. He had pushback from people in the community and it’s kept them from growing their business.

Policies and perceptions about growth like this are interesting to my husband and me. We feel strongly about farmers being able to expand their operation if they wish. People think it keeps some big corporate farm from coming to town, when it actually keeps the little family farms from growing. From our interactions with farmers across South Dakota, we know no matter the size of the farm, farmers take care of their animals.

What do you think about the dinner?

The dinner was so nice! The farm was beautiful, the decorations, the food, everything was wonderful. It was even nicer than some weddings I’ve been to! It was also neat to see the diversity in the operations – there were pig farmers, cattle farmers, soybean farmers, everyone! Agriculture across the country, but especially in South Dakota, is so interconnected—pig and cattle farmers rely on soybean farmers to provide quality feed for their animals, and we rely on pig and cattle farmers to raise high quality, safe meat for us to eat. Everyone at dinner had the chance to ask questions and learn about food right from the source. It was the perfect environment for open dialogue, and it was great to see this community become more comfortable with their food and who raises it. I think we can all learn something from farmers. Hopefully I can come again next year!

Hungry for Truth

See what Cynthia and so many others enjoyed about the Farm-to-Fork Dinner with these blogs about past events.

Gathered Together on the Farm

Farm-to-Fork Dinner Brings Sioux Falls Urbanites to the Farm

Farm-to-Fork Dinner Connects South Dakotans Through Conversations and Local Foods

Farm-to-Fork Dinner 2017

Farm-to-Fork Dinner Connects South Dakotans Through Conversations and Local Foods

Hungry for Truth table with the event's featured dishes.

On June 15, urbanites and farmers from across South Dakota gathered on the farm for an evening of conversation and outdoor dining at the second annual Farm-to-Fork dinner. The event was hosted by Hungry for Truth to encourage open discussions about how food is grown and raised on the scenic Bones Hereford Ranch, Hexad Farms and MDM Farms near Parker.
South Dakotans gather on a local farm for Farm-to-Fork dinner.Guests enjoy appetizers and conversation.

The farm chic décor, cattle and calves in the pasture, historic barn and music by The Hegg Brothers created the perfect backdrop for summer dining. South Dakota blogger and mom Staci Perry noted how the location really set the tone for great conversations.
Guests enjoy drinks and conversation.Appetizer table.

“You could see the camaraderie among the farmers, and everyone was so excited to share stories about how they grow our food,” said Staci.

Guests share in conversation at Farm-to-Fork 2017.

Local farmers took time throughout the evening to thank attendees for coming and share their farm stories. They talked about animal care on their farms, why they might choose to grow GMO crops, and improved farm practices that benefit the environment.

Hungry for Truth Farm-to-Fork 2017.

“The most important thing on our farm is sustainability,” said Bradee Pazour, a cattle farmer from Pukwana who provided the beef for the appetizers. “My husband and I are raising our two boys on our farm, and one day we hope they may want to continue on the farming legacy. We are truly farming with the future in mind.”

Farmers chat with South Dakotans.

Kirsten Gjesdal, owner of Carrot Seed Kitchen in Brookings, said she had never been on an animal farm before, but enjoyed the ambience and educational tour of the Turner County Dairy prior to dinner.

Guests enjoy food and conversation at Farm-to-Fork 2017.

“It’s so nice to meet the real, actual farmers who raise the animals and see the farming processes,” said Kirsten. “It’s important to me to be able to see the farm where the animals are coming from, and these farmers were so open to talking about what they do and why they do it.”

Guests come together to share a meal at a large table on the farm.

The Farm-to-Fork dinner is just one of the ways Hungry for Truth connects South Dakotans with the people who grow their food. Special thanks to everyone who attended, and to Chef Jeni and Company, The Event Company, Flower Mill and The Sampson House for creating such an elegant and memorable night.

Mini pies and ice cream are served for dessert.

Of course the event wouldn’t be considered “Farm-to-Fork” without featuring some truly delicious local foods. In case you’re wondering what was on the menu, here’s a rundown of some of the tasty local fare:

Meat and cheese board and freshly baked bread.Meat and cheese table.Farm-to-Fork 2017 MenuDeviled eggs and other featured sides.

Don’t worry, if weren’t in attendance at the dinner, you can still find a lot of these local products by simply shopping at your grocery store. Peggy Greenway from Greenway Pork shared that the pork from her farm goes to Costco. If you buy pork at Costco, it very well could have been raised by her! You can also find Dimock Dairy and Dakota Layers at local Hy-Vee stores.

Have you ever met a real South Dakota farmer? Get to know a few of them by reading their stories:

This Local Farmer and Mom is an On-Screen Star

Growing More With Less on a South Dakota Family Farm

A Look at High-Tech Animal Care

SaveSave

Hungry for Truth Farm to Fork Dinner 2016

#TBT to Warm Weather and Sun at Our Farm-to-Fork Dinner

We’re daydreaming of warmer days and our beautiful Farm-to-Fork Dinner from last summer! It was such a fun night connecting the food on our table back to the farm and hearing from local farmers about how they raise their crops and livestock. Today, check out a few more photos from that amazing night and pretend like we’re still enjoying the summer breeze and sunshine. You can see a full recap of the event here and read Sioux Falls blogger Kaylee Koch’s post about her experience at Apple of My Ivy.

P.S. We will host our second annual farm-to-fork dinner again this summer, so be on the lookout for more info this spring!

Guests enjoy good food and conversation on a local South Dakota farm. The hosts' farmhouse. Vintage Farmall tractor on the local farm. The Event Company setting up the beautiful decor. Volunteers carrying the signature Hungry for Truth table. Volunteers prepare the farm for the dinner. The sun shines on the farm.  Guests arrive at the event.  A red tractor passes by. Table with beautiful place settings ready for guests to enjoy their meal. Centerpieces of greenery and candles. Guests sample appetizers.  Appetizers are served. Guests enjoy their meal with a view of beautiful, green soybean fields. The meal featured on the Hungry for Truth table. A closeup of the featured meal. Refreshing citrus-infused drinks. Guests eating and chatting. Guests eating and chatting at Farm-to-Fork 2016.  Strings of decorative lights against tall pine trees. Appetizers and centerpieces. Guests enjoying a glass of wine and conversation. South Dakota farmers Paul Casper and Morgan and Jason Kontz. South Dakota farmers John Horter and Peggy.  Guests mingling among the cocktail tables.  Guests raise their glasses for a toast to another great year of Farm-to-Fork.  Guests listen to a speaker. A local duo playing music.  Ice cream sundae bar. Guests build their ice cream sundaes. Guests enjoy music and conversation.  Hungry for Truth Farm-to-Fork Dinner 2016  Guests mingle on the local farm. Guests share in conversation, enjoying drinks and appetizers.

The meal served at Hungry For Truth Farm-to-Fork Dinner 2016

Gathered Together on the Farm

On the evening of June 23, community leaders and local farmers came together for an enlightening evening on the farm. It was perfect place to learn about your food and its connection to farming. The community came together to share a meal and conversations about food and how it’s raised.

The Thompson Farm in Colton, South Dakota, set the scene for the Farm-to-Fork Dinner where guests talked with farmers about how food makes its way from their farms to the table. They discussed topics like GMOs, pesticides, organic and conventional farming, sustainability and much more. Many guests shared that they left the experience feeling a stronger connection to the people who grow and raise their food.

What would you like to learn about farming? We would be happy to connect you with a local farmer or answer any of your food or farming questions. Just leave us a note in the comments section.

You can learn more about our Farm-to-Fork Dinner here.

Farm-to-Fork Dinner Brings Sioux Falls Urbanites to the Farm

The first Hungry for Truth Farm-to-Fork Dinner on June 24 was the perfect night, from the delicious local food to the conversations between South Dakota farmers and their Sioux Falls neighbors. The dinner took Sioux Falls residents outside the city limits to Jeff Thompson’s farm in Colton, South Dakota. Dinner guests enjoyed alfresco dining overlooking the Thompsons’ fields while talking with local farmers, exploring questions about everything from family life on the farm to antibiotic use in livestock.

Event attendees listen to presentations.

Monica McCranie, a Claremont farmer involved with Hungry for Truth, was excited to have the chance to talk with other South Dakotans about how she and other local farmers raise crops and livestock.

Monica talked about her passion for farming while greeting dinner guests. She shared the legacy that’s been passed down through generations, drawing herself and others to continue the farming tradition.

“Many people were surprised to learn that so many farms in the state are multigenerational. For me, farming has always been a family affair,” said Monica. “My grandfather was actually one of the farmers who helped establish the first soil conservation district in South Dakota.”

Hungry for Truth table with plates featured at the event.

The goal of this event, and the Hungry for Truth initiative as a whole, is to spark conversations between South Dakotans and the farmers who grow their food. South Dakotans learned about how their food gets to their plates and farmers heard what people care about when it comes to food and farming. Those conversations build greater community connections around two things we all have in common: food and family.

“A lot of guests I talked with didn’t know most South Dakota farms are family owned or that farmers always strive to be more sustainable so they can leave the land even better than they found it,” she said. “It was great to have the opportunity to visit with our neighbors about what we do. The setting and food made the whole event wonderful.”

Prepared by Sioux Falls Chef Jeni, the four-course meal featured foods sourced from the same local farmers who sat next to guests that evening. The dinner event ended with ice cream made nearby at South Dakota State University.

The dessert spread offered at the event.

If you want to read more about the dinner, check out local blogger Kaylee Koch’s Apple of My Ivy blog. Find out what she loved about the event and her conversation with a Mitchell farmer. Have questions of your own about food and farming? Let us know in the comments, and check out our other blogs to learn more about everything from GMOs to sustainability.