Inaugural Banquet In A Field: Western Style cultivates awareness about food and production agriculture
Connecting 140 consumers and North Dakota growers and producers.
The Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce Agricultural Committee hosted the first ever Banquet In A Field: Western Style at Arrow K Farms near Belfield, ND on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. This unique, summer event created an opportunity for agricultural producers to sit down with non-agricultural consumers to converse about how production agriculture gets to the consumer’s table.
The inaugural event brought together approximately 140 guests to Greg and Stacey Kessel’s Arrow K Farms, located near Belfield. Arrow K Farms is a first generation, family-owned & operated seed farm.
“It was an exciting opportunity to host the inaugural western Banquet In A Field event. We are hoping that it helped in bridging the gap of disconnect between the producer of food and the consumer, from the farm to the table. It sparked many conversations and we hope that the dialog continues, and consumers continue to ask questions. Thank you to the Chamber and the Ag Committee for all their hard work, we have received so many positive comments and thank you’s after the event; it truly was a success,” said event hosts, Greg and Stacey Kessel.
The moment guests saw the rolling fields of grain at Arrow K Farms, they knew they were in for a memorable experience. The evening not only was a showcase of production agriculture, it was a first-hand look at scenic Western ND.
After being welcomed by the Dickinson Area Chamber Of Commerce staff and Ag Committee volunteers, guests were guided to the evening’s social. For an hour guests went from station to station, visited crop plots, ate appetizers at each table, listened to live guitar music by, Jessie Veeder, and engaged with the ag producers on hand to answer questions.
After the social hour, guests were seated at round tables decorated with centerpieces, courtesy of 701 Design + Events.
Guests dined on a multi-course formal meal, highlighted by 3 different meats prepared by NDSU BBQ Boot Camp and Lady J’s Catering - beef top round kabobs, lamb leg kabobs & pork tenderloin medallions. Twelve different North Dakota commodity groups were represented and provided guests with appetizers showcasing the diversity of North Dakota’s agriculture. The stations included barley, canola, corn, grapes, pulse & flax, sunflowers, and wheat. Nearly every station provided guests with an appetizer that had been made with the highlighted food ingredient or meat.
Event staff included 10 Dickinson Area Chamber Of Commerce volunteers and a dozen North Dakota FFA members from South Heart as servers.
The event was organized by Dickinson Area Chamber Of Commerce Agriculture Committee, a group of volunteers who come together to increase awareness and promote the importance of production agriculture.
“This event not only created an opportunity for our members to connect with local and statewide producers, but it also strengthened the understanding and appreciation for agriculture. The Chamber is proud to promote ND’s strongest commodities, and we are privileged to work alongside such amazing and passionate volunteers on our Agriculture committee,” said Sarah Trustem, Executive Director of the Dickinson Area Chamber Of Commerce.
After experiencing Fargo’s Banquet In A Field, hosted by CommonGround, the Dickinson Area Chamber Of Commerce Ag Committee saw the need to educate the community about food and agriculture.
CommonGround is a group of women in agriculture who volunteer to engage and outreach with non-ag consumers. It was started by and continues to be supported through the soybean and corn checkoffs. One of the reasons CommonGround created this event was to build stronger connections between North Dakota consumers and the state’s farmers and ranchers.
“The educational component of this event brought agricultural producers & consumers together to have conversations about food which greatly exceeded our expectations,” said Kurt Froelich, NDSU Extension Agent in Stark/Billings County.
Because Banquet In A Field was such a success, the Dickinson Area Chamber Of Commerce Ag Committee is already making plans for next year. The event will be a key community resource, going forward, for those who want to learn more about how agriculture impacts their daily lives.
About The Dickinson Area Chamber Of Commerce
The Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based organization serving more than 450 businesses and organizations located primarily in Dickinson and southwest North Dakota. Our mission is to provide leadership to promote a progressive business environment.
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