Last week I attended a Blogger Meet Up sponsored by CommonGround Iowa and the Iowa Food & Family Project. I also met a lot of really great bloggers and people involved in these groups. We started the day learning about about their programs at the Reiman Gardens on the ISU campus. Working and living in Farm Country Iowa, and being a 4-H leader to a group of 40+ young students, there were still things that I learned about Iowa’s farm food industry.
Thank you to Janet of Iowa Corn for taking this group photo!
Back Row: Amy; Val of Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids; Sara of Social Sara Connections; Kirk; Cristen of Food & Swine; Larry of Musings of a Pig Farmer; Julie of Farm Life in Black & White; Mollie of Mollie’s Sprinkles of Life; and Stephanie of Iowa Farm Life
CommonGround is a movement of farm women across the nation sharing information to help you sort through food myths and feel confident when you feed your family. Their website is a great resource for food facts. One thing I learned is that in 1960, one U.S. farmer fed 26 people. CommonGround says this year they’ll feed 155 people. That is a lot of mouths to feed.
Iowa Food & Family Project has embarked on a journey with well known Iowa food blogger, Kristin Porter from Iowa Girl Eats, called Join My Journey. Last year Kristin visited Iowa farms, this year she is going to restaurants, grocery stores, and other places we are familiar with to show you the ingredients we use are wholesome and safe.
We had a brief photography lesson thanks to Joe Murphy of Joseph L. Murphy Photography.
And it was such a treat to have time for a photography walk throughout the Reiman Gardens.
From there we had lunch at Hickory Park which is always good! Then Julie, of Farm Eats, City Streets, and her husband Mark were generous enough to let us tour their farm where they grow seed corn and soybeans.
We also visited with Bill & Tim Couser of the Couser Cattle Co. who farm 5,000 acres of corn and soybean seed and finish 5,000-6,000 head of cattle each year. Their family is a 2010 regional Environmental Stewardship Award winner. I have often wondered about the large livestock operations and how they keep track of each calf, so I was surprised to hear that each day they walk the cattle and can tell from their behaviors if they aren’t feeling well or if something is up.
I had a great time and learned a lot. I wanted to give a big thank you to Lindsey of Iowa Food & Family and the Iowa Soybean Association for setting this up. I can’t wait to get together with this great group again
This post has also been posted to Join my Journey here.