What is the best way to learn about something? From a book? Sometimes. From a movie? Maybe. From a show on t.v.? Maybe. On the internet? Possibly. We are fortunate to have many resources at our disposal for learning about whatever topic we might have interest in.
What if you want to learn more about food? Yes, there are also many resources out there for learning about food. The BEST resource, for learning about where your food comes from, is not a book, not a movie or t.v. show, or the Internet… but by going to the source… a REAL FARM! Although we don’t have posted hours that we’re “open”… most farms would (and should) be open to having you visit. Who knew, right?! So simple that it may not have even crossed your mind!
So how do you find a farm and how do you visit? You might start with the Internet – then you can search by location and by what type of farm or ranch they have. For example, if you want to know more about how the beef is raised that is used in your hamburgers – look for a ranch (where the calves are born and raised) and/or a feed yard (where the animals are fattened). Granted, not all types of farms are available in every location, but you can still learn a lot by visiting what is available near you. Don’t just take someone else’s word for it – learn for yourself and make your own decisions!
I grew up on a dairy farm, but farming practices can change over the years, so I have learned a lot about milk and how the cows are fed and cared for by visiting a local dairy. In fact, they are a progressive business and they put on a community event in which they open their farm to the community for tours, games and activities for the kids, and ice cream! What a great concept! Especially the ice cream! 🙂
If you aren’t able to visit a real farm, or not sure how to go about it, you can at least start by getting to know a real farmer. There are several organizations for connecting farmers with consumers – one that I’m involved with is called CommonGround. On this blog, click on the “Volunteers” tab to learn about the farm women in Nebraska and what kind of animals, crops and food they raise. You can ask them questions, too!
Another great one is the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance’s Faces of Farming and Ranching. I recommend looking at websites and blogs to find someone to connect with and to ask them questions about what they do (let me know if you’d like me to help connect you to someone!). You might be surprised about what you learn about your food – we’re real people, feeding our families, and feeding you!
“We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them.” – Dave Ramsey
Don’t Fear Your Food!