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How food and agriculture bring us together

Ag is an integral part of our every day life

by Tara Holman

Sharing a meal with family, friends, and even strangers is a great way to build stronger relationships, explore different cultures and make new friends. I believe most any of us can reminisce about get- togethers and recall just how important the meal we shared between us was.

The month of March is always a celebration of food and agriculture for Mountrail County Farm Bureau (MCFB). Any event in or around Stanley that involves food and socializing is destined to be a success in our community. Our county Farm Bureau holds an annual Chili Cookoff each March, and this year, the 9th annual event will be March 24, at the Leader Bar in Stanley. Last year we had a total of 14 teams come out to prepare their farm-sourced ingredients into a variety of unique styles of chili. A total of $1,010 was raised and donated to the local S.A.C.K. program which helps feed children in need in our community.

Another event we’re sponsoring in March is “75¢ Burgers & Fries” on National Agriculture Day. On March 20th, 2018, MCFB teamed up with Mountrail County Ag Improvement and BBH Insurance to put on our first event of this type. It was held at Joyce’s Café in Stanley in hopes of spreading agriculture awareness in our community and celebrating the nutritious and plentiful contributions of our country’s farmers and ranchers. Nearly 225 burger and fry combos were consumed at last year’s event.

Many people aren’t aware of where their food comes from and how agriculture is an integral part of our every day life. There would be no burgers or fries without agriculture and the farmers and ranchers who grow the products that go into this great sandwich combo found across the globe. Farmers and ranchers receive about $0.67 for the ingredients they produce toward the creation of the hamburger, and roughly $0.08 for the side order of fries. When broken down, the farmers and ranchers receive approximately $0.41 for a patty of beef; $0.07 for the bun; $0.10 for the cheese; and $0.09 for the pickles, onions, tomatoes and mustard. There are, of course, additional costs that are incurred between the products leaving the farm and being sold as your everyday combo at a restaurant, which is why you pay $5.00 or more for a mouth-watering burger and a crispy side of fries.

I encourage you to think about the food you eat each day and how it ties to agriculture. Visit with your children about where the different ingredients originate and allow them to help prepare the meals with you. The ingredients could be from their grandma’s garden, the fields you drive by on the way to school, or even the cattle and pigs you see each year at the State Fair. Whatever the source may be, plant and animal agriculture is a staple in our every day life!

Tara Holmen is the District 8 representative on the NDFB Promotion and Education Committee. She farms with her father in Mountrail County where they raise durum, canola, peas, spring wheat, flax and lentils. Tara enjoys promoting agriculture and agriculture education in her community.