Listening and learning at farm dinner

Everyone eats—but where does that food come from? In an effort to encourage better understanding, a farm dinner during the Ohio Corn & Wheat-sponsored workshop gave teachers the chance to sit down with industry experts and farmers to learn more about feeding the world. OCW Executive Director Tadd Nicholson said, “A night like tonight is all about remaining curious—what are you teachers interacting with on a regular basis? I hope you are curious about what we are dealing with.”

Brad Moffitt, Director of Market Development & Membership, provided questions to help table mates understand the challenges each face, whether in the classroom or on the farm. Ohio Corn Check-off Board Member Dennis Vennekotter talked about how the weather is a huge concern for farmers. “You look at how the weather will be for the weekend—I have to look every day.” Vennekotter talked about how the cost of fuel has had a huge impact on his farm operation.

The dinner was held at Bart and Karen Neer’s 5th generation corn and soybean farm in South Vienna. Son Eric Neer gave a tour of the grain bins and explained the logistics of where their corn goes and how it gets there. Josh Yoder talked about the large equipment on site and explained features such as the treads designed to reduce soil compaction.

The dinner is always a popular part of the workshops, as it gives participants a close-up look at a farm operation and the opportunity to talk to farmers in person.