Friday, September 25, 2009

Follow up from the Dinner on the Farm Series

My husband Joe and I have learned so many things from our guests and loved having the opportunity to do some community outreach on behalf of the Ag Industry. Some of the guests came prepared with questions and had some knowledge of what farmers do. They asked very intelligent, sometimes hard questions. Others really didn't have much of an idea of exactly what we did, but were just generally interested in what farmers do and why. Knowing this now, will help us define how best to create the kind of learning/sharing experience to benefit those groups for future dinners. Visiting over dinner in a relaxed atmosphere is a perfect medium and helps sets the stage to foster good rapport with those who may not understand the Ag industry. We found that the perfect number for the event was 4-6 people, and that another farm host couple really helped . It also helped to have someone else taking pictures as I would get involved in a conversation and forget to snap photos.

I wanted to thank the businesses that helped us along the way. A special thanks to:

Pacific Northwest Farmer's Cooperatives (formerly Genesee Union) who donated the 2lb bags of lentils that were given to our guests, the Pea & Lentil Commission for donating magnetic clips along with recipes, to Panhandle Artisan Bread Co. for donating their yummy bread for our dinners, to Allegra Printing for giving me a discount when printing my posters for this event, and lastly to Kristi and Kris Peterson for donating their time and talent in designing the poster and taking the wonderful photographs during the 2nd dinner event.

I want to thank our good friends who agreed to help out and be our other farm hosts, and they are Wayne & Jacie Jensen, Russ & Kathy Zenner and Randy & Cindy Schlee. We could not have done it without these wonderful people. It helped to have an extra set of hosts at the dinners, not only to share their perspectives but to help ensure the evening flowed smoothly.

Russ visiting with a guest.

Kathy pouring wine for dinner.

We hope this blog will catch on and inspire others in the Ag industry to try something along these lines. We also have a couple of national organizations who are interested in our outcome, so I'll be touching base with them in the near future.

We will be sharing some special bottles of wine (given to us by our new friends from the dinners) and will gather the other farm host couple friends to visit more about and critique ourselves and as always strive to look for ways to better promote Ag and reach out to people.

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