Have you ever been curious about how your food is grown? Less than two percent of the U.S. population is directly involved in the growth of our food, which can make connecting with a farmer challenging.

Field to Fork, an event hosted by Water Grows, is helping make the connection by giving food influencers and elected officials an inside look into how our food is grown and how farmers conserve our natural resources.

During Field to Fork in 2022, attendees got to see where their food’s journey begins – in the field. They explored corn, rice, cotton and fish farms, as well as a grain elevator and cotton gin – many experiencing these places for the first time. At each stop, they connected with farmers and agricultural industry leaders to learn more and ask questions, as well as sample a variety of progressive hors d’oeuvres.

Field to Fork is made possible through Water Grows, an initiative by the Texas Corn Producers and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), as well as the generous support of volunteers from CommonGround, NRCS field staff, Texas Department of Agriculture’s Go Texan program.

Bridging the concept of how food gets from field to fork, the event concluded with a three-course meal made with Texas-grown ingredients prepared by renowned Chef Brandon Silva.

Daniel Berglund, Texas farmer from Wharton, Texas, opened his farm and home to host this year’s event. He said events like this for people who, perhaps, did not grow up on a farm or around the agricultural industry are crucial to help provide a direct connection to farmers.

“It’s very important to communicate with those who aren’t on the farm about the importance of the job that we do, and the care and love that we put into what we do,” Berglund said.

Check out these attendees’ takes on the event after a front-row seat to a unique agricultural experience.

Economic Impact

Chris Barbee, mayor of El Campo, Texas, said agriculture is intertwined in our very existence and we cannot live without it. In fact, agriculture plays a large role in the economic vitality of communities across Texas.

“El Campo is an agriculture community, as is much of rural Texas. Farmers and ranchers are so important to our community and our county – not just the farmers themselves but the side industries that come with it,” Barbee said.

The money farmers spend on seed, fertilizer, irrigation, labor, transportation and much more, ultimately flow through their local economies.

“I can’t even imagine what towns like El Campo would be like without our farmers and ranchers,” Barbee said.

Family Farms

With a big interest in local businesses and food, Jazzmine Woodard of Dash of Jazz said it is important to learn about where the food and products she uses every day come from. Nearly 96 percent of all the farms in the U.S. are family owned, and Woodard explained how she enjoyed seeing the family nature of these farms and agriculture-related businesses first-hand.

“Hearing about people’s passion behind what they do and how much respect they have for the soil and the land, I think is something that I would want to share,” Woodard said.

She said the work farmers and ranchers do is linked to the way we live our lives every day. Woodard also explained it was interesting to learn that conservation efforts exist in agriculture.

Conservation Forward

Alessandra Madrid of Babes XO said she loved learning how important water conservation is to farmers.

“Not only is it an expensive resource when you have to water so many crops, but also knowing that they are taking care of the environment because the environment is what they live off of – that’s something I guess I never really thought about before,” Madrid said.

Madrid explained that often in busy day-to-day life, it is easy to take for granted the work that goes into our food because we can simply go to the grocery store and get it.

“There is a story of where this is coming from. It’s families that are putting out this work, and that they’re doing it right for us and for the environment,” she said.

Discovering the Story Behind your Food

Stacy Anderson of the Hurried Hostess said it is important to know the stories behind the farmers who produce our food and how it gets to our tables. She said she encourages others to be curious about farmers’ stories.

“If you are interested in where your food comes from, go to the farm, ask them questions. They want to talk about their experiences, and where that food comes from and what goes into the process of producing it,” Anderson said.

A Special Thanks

Field to Fork was made possible thanks to the efforts of it hosts, volunteers, local companies and associations. Thank you! The event couldn’t have been possible without your support.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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