Sunday, September 12, 2010

2nd Annual Dinner on the Farm, 09-10-10

Menu for 2010 Dinner on the Farm
Our 2nd annual Dinner on the Farm event was again, a worthwhile affair. The weather was perfect, sunny, calm and in the 60's. One of the guests asked me how we got started doing this and I explained back in April, 2009 I attended a Women’s Leadership program sponsored by Syngenta and the National Wheat Growers Association. The conference was designed to provide women with a skill set in which to speak to the public, politicians, and the media, but above all, to inspire women to reach out and educate the public about what farmers do. Our dinner event also coincided with me receiving a letter from American Agri-Women, an organization of which I belong to, with the letter starting out saying “agriculture is under siege” and urging women to be proactive and spread the word about the importance of agriculture. With so much negative publicity in the news and the journalism reporting seems to show only one side of agriculture, which is not in a positive light, we need to counter the bad publicity and all producers need to take the time and step up and tell our story! I tell our story through my blog, social media and hosting these dinners.

Guests gathering in the kitchen before heading out to the field for a tour
Our guest list was comprised of people who applied to attend the event and some that I specifically targeted for their importance in the community. The ones we purposely sought out were the City of Moscow’s Executive Director for the Chamber of Commerce, Steve Hacker and his wife, Traci. The other couple was Gresham Dale Bouma and his wife Wendy, of which Gresham is running for office as our Legislative District 6 State Senator. We felt it is imperative to have a good rapport with these leaders and urge them to use us as a resource if they ever had questions about agriculture. Next week’s dinner will be attended by the other candidate for the state senate seat. The other farm host couple was Jay and Lisa Anderson, our farming partners, and again they were a true asset with their naturally fun and witty personalities, plus being able to easily converse with the guests.

Sister in law, Lisa enjoying herself

Guests starting out for the farm tour
Matthew and Gresham (not facing the camera)
Guests - Anastasia (far right), Traci, Steven, Patrick and husband, Joe
in the garbanzo field next to our house

Guests, Wendy and Gresham with brother in law, Jay

Anastasia and Traci sharing a laugh

Guests enjoying the crop tour on a beautiful Fall evening 

The remainder of the guest list was comprised of one couple who waited a year to attend farm dinner event (thank you Anastasia & Matthew). Anastasia is an Associate Professor of International and Environmental Law at the University of Idaho and her husband, Matthew, a mechanical engineer. The other guest was Patrick, the District Conservationist for Latah County. Unfortunately, Patrick’s wife, Tracy, whose keen interest in Ag, was unable to attend due to an unexpected event which took her out of town. Tracy, in her application, said she grew up in NYC and was more familiar with asphalt than wheat and wanted to see what we do. We invited Patrick to bring his wife out to the farm anytime. All in all, it was a wonderful group and the conversation and questions were excellent. Again topics ranged from erosion to GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and it was all discussed over a hardy dinner.

We had hoped to have the combines up here in time for this farm dinner, but the weatherman was not very cooperative and with the rain earlier in the week, it stopped the garb harvest for a few days.  So with about 1 more day left to harvest down at the Tammany farm we should get done by Monday and then move the equipment up to the Genesee farm and will have the combines on hand for next week's dinner. =)

Traci and Steven enjoying a beverage before dinner

Great guests + good food = fun evening

This is what the guests were sent home with
Due to the generosity of Pacific NW Farmers Cooperative, we had Pea & Lentil Cookbooks and a 2lb bag of lentils to give the guests.  Kaufman Farms also donated Barley Soup packets and the Pea & Lentil Commission donated a packet of dried garbanzos, recipes and a lapel pin.  We also received a few Idaho Wheat cookbooks that I thought would be great hostess gifts to our farm hosts.

A gift for Jay & Lisa
Cookbook was donated by Idaho Wheat Commission
along with Idaho Wheat lapel pins
All in all we felt the evening was a success and the guests were all very appreciative of our efforts.  It is fun getting to meet these wonderful new people and a good rapport has been established.

Stay tuned for next week's report on the Dinner on the Farm.  Our farm hosts for the 09/18/10 dinner is "Potlatch Joe Anderson" and his wife Pam.