From the Intern – Educating Consumers to Better our Future

07-16-2018 in Communications Internship

By Megyn Walston, CSIF Communications Intern

I have always been passionate about educating consumers on where their food comes from. With today’s media and misconceptions that are being portrayed daily, this task has become even more important for the future of agriculture. In June I had the opportunity to visit Cinnamon Ridge Farms in Donahue, IA to learn more about their operation and how they are working to educate the public.

Cinnamon Ridge Farms hosts approximately 6,000 people annually, about 2,000 of those are children. Tourists can visit the farm and learn about their beef cattle, pigs, chickens, corn, soybeans, wheat, and robotic dairy! Visitors have the unique experience of seeing how they use the milk from their own cows to make cheese in the same building.

In addition to their tours, they also host an annual Farm to Table event where they share their personal experience as well as research. Guests are served a meal and have the opportunity to hold conversation while experiencing a farm first hand. This is a wonderful way to teach those that have never had the opportunity to be on a farm about where their food comes from. Cinnamon Ridge Farms asks that guests come with thoughts and questions about today’s food and farming in hopes that they can help breakdown the myths and misconceptions surrounding food and farming.

Visiting this farm opened my eyes to a new way we, as agriculturalists, can share our stories first hand. However, not all of us have the opportunity to own a farm and provide the same experience that Cinnamon Ridge Farms offers. We do all have the option to tell our stories and make a difference, even if it’s small. You can educate friends and family that have questions about where their food comes from or share positive posts on social media instead of the negative. I believe that by sharing our stories, we can make a positive impact on the future of agriculture.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to work for the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers this summer and being able to help farmers in multiple ways. We are able to meet with farmers and help them improve their farming operations while also working to bring light to the positive things our farmers are doing. By hosting open houses for the general public to attend and ask questions and Good Farm Neighbor Award events we are able to spread a positive light on the livestock industry.

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