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.
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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.
For Courtney Hansen, mother of two, South Dakota soybean farmer and cattle rancher, time is precious, especially during calving season. With the Hansens welcoming about 380 new calves from January to April, family meals are scarce. Having a crockpot on hand helps Courtney cook up delicious meals like Beef Bourguignon no matter where the day takes her.
Calving is a 24/7 pursuit involving tending to the cows during the day and monitoring their activity on cameras through the night. Courtney’s two young daughters love helping to care for the new babies and hand-feeding the adults.
“My husband and I feel it is important to raise our girls so they know how much work farming and ranching is, but also that it’s a truly rewarding job,” Courtney said.
At the heart of the Hansen family’s operation is the goal to leave the land in better condition than when they started. Courtney’s in-laws established the family farm in 1975, and she and her husband joined them in in 2009. They’ve always had an eye on environmental sustainability for their land, livestock, neighbors and children.
“We thrive knowing our children may one day take over this ranch. We plan to instill in them a belief in sustainability and the continued use of best farming practices,” said Courtney. “It’s important for us to utilize the resources we have available to us to preserve our soil and grow healthy and safe crops like soybeans.”
At the peak of such a hectic season, Courtney cherishes family dinners where everyone can gather around the table. She’s shared her favorite Crockpot Beef Bourguignon recipe so you can wow your family while being a mom on the go.
Preserving the environment is so important to today’s farmers. Here’s another look at calving that digs into sustainability and technology. Take a look.