Do you remember as a child how anxious you felt before field trips?  You were able to take a special sack lunch and leave school on the bus just after everyone had arrived.  Your teacher would remind you to use your manners and go over safety precautions for wherever you were visiting.  I have several “favorite” field trips in my memories, but one that stands out was when we visited a dairy in a neighboring town.  We were able to watch the cows being milked and see the big stainless-steel tanks where the milk was stored until it was hauled away by a truck.  We went directly from the dairy to the dairy processing plant right there in the same town, where the milk was made into cheese.  And then, best part of all, we got to eat a slice of pizza that had been topped with the cheese!

Recently, CommonGround Nebraska hosted a “field trip to the farm” for adults who are considered to be food influencers due to their  professions.  We organized a “Banquet on the Farm” event to host chefs, culinary students, dieticians, personal trainers, bloggers, FCS instructors and more.  They all got to come out to a gorgeous farm near Kennard, Nebraska (if you have never been to that part of the state, I highly recommend it; it is gorgeous!).

 Here is a short video from the event.
CommonGround volunteers (which include all of us ladies who enjoy talking about our farms and ranches with anyone and everyone) manned stations around the farmyard.  Attendees came to visit each station where they could ask questions about livestock production (use of hormones and antibiotics), sustainability, GMOs, and the similarities and differences between organic and conventional farming.  It was fun, interesting and encouraging to visit with everyone as they came around.  At each station, there were appetizers and refreshments prepared specially to match the theme of the station.  We visited about why we do certain things on our farms and ranches, what we continue to get better at, and addressed what concerns the participants hear from their students, clients and customers.  Like always at these events, I probably learned more from them than they did from me!

All of this happened at a picturesque setting.  We had a beautiful farmyard bordered by a gorgeous field of soybeans. For our meal, we sat under a tent with tables decorated with the perfect touches of flowers, wood and candles.   We shared an amazing meal prepared by Chef John and his team from the Venue Restaurant and Lounge in Lincoln.  They highlighted Nebraska products such as beef, pork, corn, ice cream (ok, technically dairy, but everyone LOVES ice cream!), and regionally grown vegetables.  No one went away hungry!  All-in-all, a wonderful time was had by everyone, and most importantly, a lot of people got to thoroughly enjoy a field trip, grown-up style – no sack lunch needed!

Below are a few of the media interviews that took place during the banquet.

CommonGround volunteer Dawn Caldwell visits with Pure Nebraska at CommonGround Nebraska’s Banquet on the Farm event.


Joyce Potthoff, Nebraska ProStart teacher at Milford High School, shares some of her thoughts with Pure Nebraska while enjoying the CommonGround Banquet on the Farm event.

Volunteer Dawn Caldwell also visited with KTIC Radio about the guests that were invited and goals of the event.

Reporter Ken Anderson from Brownfield Radio Network attended the event. He visited with both Dawn Caldwell and Chef O’Malley from Metro Community College in Omaha. Click to listen.




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