Farm to Fork Student Social Pairs Food, Fun and Farming for Midterm Study Break

Farmer Kim Baldwin talks about her family farm to K-State dietetics students.

Study breaks are especially welcome during busy weeks like this one, in which K-State students are busy with midterms and counting down to spring break. CommonGround hosted the K-State Student Dietetics Association monthly meeting with a special Farm to Fork Student Social Tuesday, Mar. 7, at the Bluemont Hotel in Manhattan, KS.

CommonGround volunteers Kim Baldwin and Melissa Hildebrand Reed kicked off the evening by sharing about their family farms. Kim raises crops and beef cattle on her farm near McPherson, KS, while Melissa works on a multi-generational dairy farm near Junction City, KS, that sells its glass-bottled milk in local markets. Agriculture students from K-State’s Food for Thought organization also briefly described their own family farms and unique areas of expertise, including swine, goat and sheep production.

Students enjoyed appetizers featuring ingredients made from Kansas-grown crops and livestock, including salsa and white corn chips, barbecue meatballs, chicken strips, veggies and ranch dressing, and chocolate chip cookies with a special ingredient: sorghum flour.

The menu included clues for a game of Farm to Fork Bingo, which featured a critical thinking exercise about the ingredients in the food, as well as a hunt for food facts around the room and opportunities to ask questions of farmers. The students also posted sticky notes with their answers to the statement, “When I think about today’s agriculture, I wonder …” The first five students to get bingo each received a prize pack including a CommonGround cutting mat, grocery bag, notepad and a $10 gift card to Radina’s Coffee House and Bakery.

The evening wrapped up with a Q&A session with the CommonGround farmers and Food for Thought students. Dietetics students left with a card listing helpful resources for future reference, such as BestFoodFacts.org, KansasFarmFoodConnection.org, and SafeFruitsandVeggies.com. They also took home a CommonGround spatula.

Special thanks to Food for Thought for helping make the event a success and to the K-State Student Dietetics Association for welcoming farmers to their meeting.

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