On Saturday, October 15, seven Field Moms (Chicago-area moms who have questions about their food, farmers, and farming) were given an opportunity to see first-hand how their food is grown and raised. On behalf of Illinois Farm Families®, farm tours were held in rural Kane and DeKalb Counties; Mike and Lynn Martz of Maple Park and Dale and Linda Drendel of Hampshire.
The moms watched farmers harvest corn and had a chance to ride in a combine and tractor. They also learned how today’s beef is raised and found out how farmers reduce their animals’ stress and manage their health, well-being and comfort. And finally, on the dairy farm, the Field Moms petted baby calves and helped with the afternoon milking.
The Field Moms asked many questions throughout the day in a casual open dialogue format. A local veterinarian and a seed representative were on-site to help answer specific questions related to those industries. The Field Moms recorded their day on the farms by taking photos, videos, and journaling their observations.
Now that the farm tour is over, the Field Moms will share what they have learned with other moms and consumers through video clips, photo albums, blog posts and other media on www.watchusgrow.org, www.facebook.com/illinoisfarmfamilies and http://twitter.com/ilfarmfamilies.
Later in the winter and spring, there will be more tours of livestock farms, including a hog farm. Additionally, they will visit a grain farm where they will have the opportunity to follow the growing season from seed to harvest. Some special city events that will bring farmers and consumers together for another chance for everyone to share in the excitement is also in the works.