Bloggers Reaction

Natasha) I’m a very new blogger, so I’m super excited to go on this trip. I’m actually a transplant from New Jersey to Kansas, so visiting these farms was an amazing experience. One of the things that I realized on the first day is that all the farmers that we met throughout the entire trip were so humble but so proud of what they did, I think I have a better understanding of what real food actually comes from now, then I ever had in over almost 30 years of working in the food industry from a different standpoint. And that is humbling for me, but it’s also really exciting because I think I’m going to approach every single person that I talk to very differently than I did before this experience. (Dana) I came on this trip very nervous. I am an organic real food, whole food eater. That’s what I pride my family with. I make my own yogurt. When I lived in Austin, Texas, I would source my own raw milk and make everything for myself. So, I was a little bit nervous. And my visions of what I was going to find were a little bit scared and I was really worried that the Kansas Bureau didn’t know who they were bringing on the trip. But when I got here and I got to visit with the farmers, find out what they did, how they did it, their respect for the land, for the animals really started to change my vision. Both Craig and Derek and Katie Sawyer and couple of the other farmers as well, almost all of them have said something that really changed my mind. And it’s that, we just can’t think about ourselves, we have to think about the masses and the world that we have to farm for and provide food for. And we have to do the best that they can and we, as consumers, to provide the best husbandry, and environment and sustainability for those animals in order to make it free. (Debbie) So I am Debbie Lyons-Blythe and I blog at kidscowsandgrass.com. So I’m actually an agriculture blogger, and I’m on this trip because I’m a cattle rancher. But as an agricultural blogger, I really don’t know that much about all the other segments of agriculture, so frankly I’ve learned a ton about large dairy farms. Never been on a large dairy farm before in my life. That was amazing. And also I think my other favorite was the hydroponic basil farm. I love basil and I hadn’t really thought about all of the ins and out of trying to figure out how to grow basil. (Natasha) You know we covered things that were sensitive topics for both the farmer as well as for us, like sustainability and GMO usage and treatment of animals. And at every point, something that was very clear to me was that the farmer is respectful of the different processes and I think we in turn as consumers need to also be respectful that there are different choices that you can make. And we are very fortunate that we actually have the opportunity to make those choices. (Debbie) So, I think one of the things that’s impressed me the most is that there are farmers that are out there that are looking for new ways to be innovative and also to just keep themselves viable in their business model. And specifically the basil farm really intrigued me in the fact that they said they just had an interest in doing something different and doing it in a different way and adding value to the basil. In addition we saw Nu Life, which was for gluten free flours. And it’s my understanding that he saw the need, saw a niche market and decided to fill it and be the very best at it that he could be. And frankly farmers and ranchers do that all the time. They’re looking for different ways to improve their efficiencies, improve their ability and add value to their own individual market. But as a cattle rancher, I just don’t get the opportunity to step outside and see those other parts of agriculture that can do that. (Naomi) Learning from these farmers about how they’ve resourced what they do and been able to keep their family traditions alive in a contemporary setting, using new technology and new ideas and new innovations and so much science is really eye opening and so interesting. And I hope people are open to the idea of listening to them because they have so many great stories to tell. If you have a chance you should totally go out and visit a farm because it’s not what you think it might be.

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