Farm-to-Fork tour brings dietitians to the farm
Monday, May 14, 2018
Posted by: Lauren Brey, director of marketing and research
“My goal for all of you today after you leave here is that when you walk into the grocery store you go to the dairy case and pick up that gallon of milk with confidence," dairy farmer Loren Greenfield of Hilltop Dairy said to a group of 32 registered dietitians.
“There are two ways to learn. You can ask this stupid thing,” said Greenfield, an Edge member, pointing to his cell phone, “or you can come and see. And you came to see. Now make sure you share what you saw today.”
Edge once again partnered with the Wisconsin Beef Council and Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers to bring a group of dietitians on farm tours as part of the Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Conference.
The tour stops included Alsum Produce, Hilltop Dairy and Next Generation Genetics, a beef farm.
At Alsum, attendees learned how potatoes and onions are processed and packaged for shipment across the United States. Alsum grows some of its own potatoes but purchases most of the product from growers in Wisconsin and across the country. Besides the potatoes and onions, Alsum also distributes fresh fruits and vegetables to grocery stores.
Hilltop Dairy had a full team of experts, including owner Loren Greenfield and the nutrition and veterinarian team that works with the farm. Attendees rotated between four stations to learn about major aspects of the farm: the milking parlor, calf barn, calving/veterinarian area and freestall barn. They were able to see cow comfort at its best with sand-bedded freestalls, cow brushes and more.
The final stop was Next Generation Genetics, a cow-calf beef farm owned by the Brancel family. They raise Herefords and Angus and talked about how they use embryo transfer and invitro fertilization to improve genetics. They also discussed how antibiotics are used safely and responsibly.
“Hilltop enjoys hosting these types of events as we value the opportunity to network and have open dialogue between farmers and customers,” Greenfield said. “The gap between customers and farmers is not narrowing. If we want our customers to feel comfortable and knowledgeable about the dairy products they enjoy, we need to open the doors to our farms and share with them why we do things the way we do.”
Edge encourages members to take the opportunity to show customers how cows are cared for and milk is produced. Please reach out to us if you would like help preparing for a tour.