Under the umbrella of the Missouri Farmers Care coalition, the Missouri Beef Industry Council, Missouri Pork Association and Midwest Dairy Association coordinated pasture-to-plate panels to tell the story of agriculture to key St. Louis area influencers.
On Sept. 9, the Missouri Farmers Care coalition hosted dietitians and family and consumer science teachers. On Sept. 10, the guests included chefs, culinary instructors and food writers.
"As more and more consumers want to know where their food comes from, it is important for us to connect farmers with those individuals who are involved with helping consumers make healthy and safe food choices," said Stacy Dohle, Integrated Communications manager for the Midwest Dairy Association. "Continuing one-on-one conversations among these groups and farm families will build a whole new relationship between the farmer and consumer."
These panels allowed farmers from the beef, pork and dairy industries to explain to the guests about on-farm production practices, focusing on animal care and nutrition, environmental stewardship and the process the animals go through once they leave their farm.
Following the panel event, panelists and guests alike were invited to watch the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Atlanta Braves in a Major League Baseball game. This relaxed environment allowed one-on-one conversations to continue throughout the evening, so guests left feeling confident that they could make better informed decisions in their everyday careers.
"Our audience was amazed to learn about the technology we use on our farms and how we keep track of every detail of our animals' health, safety and food," said Chris Chinn, pork panelist and hog farmer from Clarence. "During the game, participants continued to ask questions. I spent several innings talking about how my farm is representative of what all farmers do today."
The Missouri Farmers Care coalition provided flash drives with information about Missouri farm families and the food they produce. The guests can use what they learned in their classrooms and everyday work.
"I think that the message for the restaurants that we represent is that agriculture is evolving, that Missouri farmers are committed to raising quality food for supermarkets and restaurants," said Bob Bonney, CEO of the Missouri Restaurant Association.
The three organizations have one more similar event planned for this month. Retailers are the invited guests on Friday evening, Sept. 23.
To learn more about Missouri Farmers Care and Missouri agriculture, visit www.MoFarmersCare.com
Source: Missouri Farmers Care coalition