On November 2, 2018
Last month, the Kansas Soybean Commission and Kansas Farm Bureau hosted the fifth Farm Food Tour across Kansas. The Farm Food Tour opens the doors to Kansas agriculture and creates meaningful conversations about food and the people who grow it.
Eight food bloggers from around the country joined in on this three-day experience to see firsthand what farm life in our state is really like. Along with representatives from Kansas Soybean and KFB, Amy France of France Family Farms joined the tour to give additional information and answer questions along the ride.
And there were a lot of questions! “What’s a grain elevator?” “Why do cows ‘moo’?” “How do farmers and ranchers record data about their livestock?” “How do you choose the best meat at the grocery store?” “What are the differences in cattle breeds?” “Why have an ethanol plant at a feed yard?”
Our wonderful farm families stepped up to answer these questions and more. Many of the bloggers commented how this experience gave them confidence in our food system, as well as how insightful it was to step foot on real farms and see how much Kansas farmers care about their animals and their crops. (To get their perspectives, you can read their blogs about the Farm Food Tour using the links below.)
Take the tour yourself — check out the photo gallery to see all the stops along this year’s Farm Food Tour.
Farm Food Tour: Virtual Edition
We kicked off our tour at Craig and Amy Good’s pig farm in Olsburg. The Goods raise heritage hogs, and we got to swoon over some pretty piglets. The cherry on top was a catered meal that included some of the Goods’ delicious pork products.
For our second stop of the day, we got in on some harvesting action at Sawyer Land & Cattle in McPherson. Derek and Katie Sawyer — and their two sons/future farmers — gave us the low-down on raising cattle and row crops in their part of the state.
Day one ended with an unforgettable meal at Courtyard on Main in McPherson. A filet you can cut with a fork — yes, please!
A long drive across the state was worth it when we got to France Family Farms in Marienthal. In addition to hanging out in a soybean field and learning more about harvest, we got to see a one-of-a-kind PINK tractor. Talk about a photo op!
We enjoyed a quick but mouth-watering lunch of fried chicken and all the fixings at Law’s Feed Store in Leoti.
A visit to Reeve Cattle Company, a feed yard and ethanol plant in Garden City, was next on the agenda. Lee Reeve, whose family has been in the cattle business for six generations, gave great information on sustainability in the cattle industry.
The name says it all — our last farm stop of the day was at Forget-Me-Not Dairy in Cimarron. We learned all about the lives of dairy cows and milk production at this family-owned dairy. These cows were udder-ly adorable — and photogenic!
The day ended with some yummy food and great conversations at the Crazy Mule in Greensburg.
We couldn’t leave Greensburg without seeing the world’s largest hand-dug well. The site now also hosts a museum about the history of Greensburg and its comeback from a EF5 tornado in 2007.
Started by a Farm Food Tour alum, The Kitchen in Wichita was a favorite food stop along the tour. Let’s just say that this woman knows her food. (Insider tip: the chocolate cake is legendary.)
Despite getting a bit weary towards the end of the tour, we all perked up when a real cowboy stepped on the bus. Matt Perrier of Dalebanks Angus in Eureka showed us around his ranch in the Flint Hills, teaching us all about the importance of the native grasses, as well as how they care for their cattle.
Juniper Hill Farms in Lawrence was the perfect end to our tour. We rode the “vegetable bus” around Scotty Thellman’s organic vegetable farm, followed by a delicious dinner on his magnificent porch as the sun was setting. (Sigh.)
Farm Food Tour Alumna 2018
Click the links to read the bloggers' takeaways from the tour!
- Shashi Charles, SavorySpin.com
- Vaishali Sharda, KitchenDocs.com
- Madi Vachron, MildlyMeandering.com
- Jessica Robinson, AFarmGirlsKitchen.com
- Silvia Ribas, GardenInTheKitchen.com
- Anna-Marie Walsh, BeautyAndTheBeets.com
- Lisa MarcAurele, LowCarbYum.com
- Leanette Fernandez, FuntasticLife.com