I was so excited as last year I was unable to accept my invite to Missouri Beef Associations for Pasture to Plate tour. So why do I want to visit a bunch of farms?
I as a farmer’s daughter, have been pretty disconnected from the agricultural world. After getting pregnant, I became consumed with baby research. Which now that arena is flooded with marketing on foods to baby lotions. All which to tie into agriculture in some way.
Meeting a farmer if you have not had the pleasure is pretty fun. You will feel inspired and want to join them, if even for a moment. They love their animals, their businesses, and as risky as farming can be monetary wise- they have to be this passionate! They make the entrepreneurial spirit look lazy, and push boundaries only farmers can- Technology, Science, and more.
Farmers just want to make a living the best way that works for them. Missouri Farms are only second to Texas in the number of farms, which is roughly over 99,000 farms. I visited three different ones outside the Kansas City area. A Dairy Farm, a Grain farm with an irrigation business, and a Beef and Hog farm with a commercial storefront for specialty meats.
Ask a Farmer
What would you ask a farmer? I went in with questions but left with so many answers to issues concerning our modern food chain, marketing, and so much more. Did you know a Dairy farm gets a sample taken when their sample is picked up and added to a tanker? This truck typically will go to other farms to fill up and repeat that sample test. When the tanker arrives at the milk processing plant- the entire truck with mixed milk has a sample taken. If any tiny trace of an antibiotic comes through- the farm whose personal sample has the antibiotic source – THEY PAY FOR THE WHOLE LOAD $$$$$!! That is the last thing any Dairy Farmer wants, so they are meticulous in the diet of their cows, personally developed by nutritionists to keep health, and separating cows that need extra care. They love these animals.
I saw this on Facebook the other day, and after my talk with my Missouri Farm Bureau tour guides that day- I think the super market and the internet is full of marketing vs accurate information. I considered myself pretty educated on both the supermarket marking as well as agricultural happenings. No. I am not. There is always more to learn! You may not be able to walk across the road to a farmer to ask questions, but there are so many online resources now that can connect you to right off the farm information. None of these fear mongering websites that essentially try to scare you into the $7.00 eggs, when actually what you were personally searching for was only $3.00.
Do what is right for you and your family.
You will know what labels are good for your family, and chances are there are many farmers out here happy to meet your needs. I just urge you to really look into what that “Natural” label means or what exactly you are getting with the hormone free chicken labeled for $4.00 more than the chicken next to it. Farmers want to do what is right for them, their beliefs, and their families. They are masters of their businesses, and always looking to progress in the science, technology, and get more of their products on your table so they can support their own.
This is one of my current favorite articles about our future of food and farming with fewer farmers staying in business. – Click here to follow on to the Smithsonian article.
I want to thank the farmers for such an incredible day- You can follow our adventures on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #MFBFarmTour.
Here are the Farmers-
Moreland Family Dairy Farm – Harrisonville MO. You can find their agritourism venture Red Barn Ranch and more here on Facebook. It is SO cute, and a must visit during this fall season!
Roth Irrigation. They are 4th generation farmers who specialize in growing corn, and in 1971 they became a Roth Zimmatic Irrigation dealer.
Kurzweil Farm, Beef Cattle, and Hogs. They not only have a fabulous family farm since the 1940’s, but they also had us for lunch at their store front. They ship their meat all over the country. Check out their page here to find out more. (INCREDIBLE EATS and MEATS!)
Here are the wonderful ladies I got to spend the day with: