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Katie Pinke: Banquet in a field

On Aug. 4, 2015 CommonGround North Dakota hosted our second annual Banquet in a Field at Peterson Farms Seed. I started volunteering with CommonGround in 2013 and have served as the statewide coordinator for the past 15 months. I have the opportu...

Katie Pinke
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On Aug. 4, 2015 CommonGround North Dakota hosted our second annual Banquet in a Field at  Peterson Farms Seed. I started volunteering with CommonGround in 2013 and have served as the statewide coordinator for the past 15 months. I have the opportunity to work with farm women from across the state who are willing to share about their roles in agriculture and their farms/ranches, both online and offline. While it might be easier to keep to themselves on the farm/ranch and hide behind their computer, more and more of our volunteers are willing to travel and speak up about modern-day agriculture.  In my 15 years of agricultural marketing work, working with CommonGround has been the most rewarding because it channels my passions for my North Dakota home and my love for the land, crops, food and people. We participate in events such as the Women’s Health Conferences in Fargo and Bismarck. Thanks to the vision of volunteer Julie Peterson of Peterson Farms Seed, we partner with North Dakota Soybean Council, North Dakota Corn Growers Association and other sponsors to host Banquet in a Field.  The effort brings together about 120 Fargo and Cass County business owners, educators, food service professionals, community leaders, moms, writers, bloggers, media, ag industry professionals, farmers and ranchers to share conversations about North Dakota food and farming. While it would be easier to invite everyone we know, the planning committee is intentional about asking a diverse group of people to join us for a free farm to table dinner in a field.  For a second year, Tony and Sarah Nasello of Sarello’s Culinary Events and Meeting Center prepared appetizers featuring all 11 of the crops the Peterson’s plant in plots as well as beef, lamb and pork. No detail is overlooked - from the décor to the menu to the swag bags for attendees to take home. While 90 percent of North Dakota is farmland or grasslands, many North Dakotans rarely visit a farm. Banquet in a Field connects all of the points of food production for an elaborate but gracious farm dinner that celebrates fellowship, farmers and the bounty of our land.  One relationship, one interaction and one event at a time, I see our CommonGround volunteers along with other North Dakota ag groups and farmer leaders changing the tide and conversations. While social media is one avenue to spread our message, the conversations that happen around a shared table enjoying food prepared from the bounty of the land is richly rewarding.  If you would like to join our efforts, visit our Facebook page and email me at katpinke@gmail.com . I’m working with CommonGround volunteers to line up farm visits and combine rides for interested non-farm folks this fall.   Connect with Katie Pinke, a fifth generation North Dakotan on her blog; thepinkepost.com, Facebook or Twitter.

Related Topics: FAMILY
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