If you follow me on social media, you know that I had a super fun opportunity to tour the Ag side of Kansas – and I even have a little giveaway to give you a taste of what I experienced (my favorite in the giveaway basket – so so yummy!!) Giveaway is on down, but first I want to try to give you a glimpse into my experience.
Have you ever given thought to where your food comes from? My biggest take-away from the tour was of the people – there are real, geninue people behind our food – they care about their product and they care about their consumer (that’s us!). They are just families who make a business from farming. Regular, awesome people. Caring people. Smart people (I didn’t realize how technical farming is – so high tech! everyone had college degrees to help them know how to manage and run their farms). Family people. You can tell that the insight of the people side of things really stuck out to me because at each stop I took pictures of the farmers in their element. A great movie from this perspective is called “Farmland” and it’s on Hulu through the end of October – if you’ve ever wondered about where your food comes from, be sure to check that out. I am confident in food production and the food system of our nation and I want to pass that confidence on to you.
Our first stop was a basil farm – did you know that basil doesn’t ship well because it needs to be super fresh. Which means it needs to be grown locally for area grocery stores. Cal-Ann Farms is a perfect example of a family run farm filling a food need in the surrounding area.
Next we stopped at the Good Pork Farm, run by the Good Family. We had the most amazing pork apple brunch meatballs and they pride themselves on the quality of their pork. They are able to sell to high-end restaurants because of their quality and their heritage niche.
We had lunch at the cutest Mertz River Creek Farm, catered by Little Apple Brewery where they use food from local farmers. It really makes you feel connected to the land and community when you are eating locally grown food.
Our last stop of the day was Sawyer Farms, where they raise cattle and grow a variety of crops. They are where I learned about how high-tech farming can be, from the irrigation systems to GPS in the tractors. Again, you can really see the pride that the farmers have in their animals and crops. Their cattle is sold to high end, white tablecloth restaurants. Dinner was at Courtyard on Main in McPherson and was my favorite dinner of the trip – best steak and potatos ever (yes, local fair)
The next day we toured and learned all about Nu-Life – – they produce allergy-free, gluten-free flour and products. They use sorgum (also know as milo) and have perfected it. We had muffins made with their flour and they poofed right up – I would have never guessed that they were gluten free. It was interesting to see their innovation and foresight in a local company.
We had dinner at a cute coffeshop in Atkinson called MoJos and I had the best drink of my life – hot apple cider with caramel and whip – wowza, it was amazing.
The next day we toured the McCarty Dairy which was one of my favorite stops – to see such a large operation, but still family-run, family-owned, and filled with solid family values. They supply most of the milk to the Dannon Yogart plant in Texas. They cared about their milk cows and knew them and their needs. And the baby cows were super cute!
Then we crocheted our way back across the state (you know, Kansas stretches clear to Colorado, and we went a long ways out). We stopped for lunch at Gellas in Hays (I was in love with their slat barn door detail) and visited a Smoky Hill Vineyards & Winery in Salina and then dinner in Lawerence at Hank Charcuterie where they serve local meats and cheeses.
I came away with confidence in our food system and pride to be from the midwest. I think it’s all summed up in the McCarty farm mission – creating wholesome products in a sustainable manner while achieving animal and environmental welfare.
I was able to attend the tour with several other local bloggers – be sure to check out social media (search for the hashtag #FarmFoodTour) and their blogs for other recaps and perspectives of the Kansas Farm Food Tour:
And one of the best parts – we get to share a little bit of Kansas with you! Each blogger on the tour gets to give away 1 basket filled with goodies from Kansas (a $100 value), so that’s 7 baskets up for grabs. With goodies such as From the Land of Kansas apron and hand crafted coffee mug, Chocolates from Cocoa Dolce, Wine from Smoky Hill Vineyards and Winery, Chocolate covered soybeans, Soybean writing pen, Kansas Living magazine, Kailey’s Ag Adventure series books, Silpat non-stick baking tray, Miniature lodge cast iron skillet, Mexican Dip Mix from Rabbit Creek, Popcorn from Cashmere Popcorn, Soy candle from Kling Family Orchards, and Salsa from Jose Peppers.
Use Rafflecopter below to enter the giveaway, and good luck! Big thanks to Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Soybean Association and United Soybean Board for sponsoring the tour and giveaway. (Giveaway participants must be 21yrs+ and US Resident)
a Rafflecopter giveaway