Farm to fork dinner events presented by two Indiana Farm Bureau counties were honored with County Activities of Excellence awards last year, and the Benton and Wayne County Farm Bureaus told their stories at the American Farm Bureau Federation trade show during the annual convention.
In Benton County they host a community dinner which is also a fundraiser, so Meredith Cobb, Benton County Farm Bureau education and outreach coordinator says it is open to the public.
“This has been an amazing event for our county,” she said. “It is just really taken off and people have embraced it. We doubled our sponsorship from the first year to the second year, and we were able to raise $10,000 for our local food coop this past September. That’s been amazing for us, and it makes people see that Farm Bureau is out there for their community and what we’re about.”
In Wayne County, Anne Smith says their Summer Harvest Supper is an invitation farm-to-fork style dinner for community leaders.
“The actual invitation is a recipe box,” she explains. “In addition to recipes there are some cards that have bios of the host farmers with their contact information so that guests, if they’ve got a question later or anytime, they can say I know a farmer, I’ll ask the farmer about that.”
Smith says the outreach is an attempt to counteract the erroneous information about farming available on the internet and social media.
“We’re trying to give them a personal relationship with a farmer so that they can get the real truth about the food we eat.”
Reaction to both exhibits by AFBF members at the convention trade show was very positive, and sometimes reactions by farm to fork attendees make it obvious the event was a success.
“The first year one lady said when she left, oh I’m not afraid to drink milk anymore,” Smith told HAT.
Benton County Farm Bureau raised $6,500 for the Fowler Theater during its first event in 2017.
Benton and Wayne counties competed against county Farm Bureaus across the country for the annual award and joined 22 other county winners from seven other states: California, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Texas.
Hear more from Smith and Cobb:Anne-Smith-and-Meredith-Cobb