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How Ohio State students made a difference and why you should care
by Darrell Rubel
Also read part one of this story, Farm to Fork Food Dialogue: A Feast for the Mind
The Farm to Fork Food Dialogues sponsored by Collegiate Young Farmers at Ohio State hit a homerun. Here’s why.
Often, farmers hear questions via media about how food is raised, grumble a bit, and leave someone else to answer the questions rather than getting involved.
Ohio State students decided that answering questions was so important they reached out collectively to do it. The entire ag campus, all ag majors, student clubs and greek systems, collaborated to do something bigger than any one major or club could do alone. They took a step of faith and reached out to non-ag students to ask and answer questions, and to seek understanding: together. Shared visions are powerful.
To my knowledge, this is the first time that an OSU campus-wide dialogue on an ag issue has ever happened. It brought people together to listen, share and understand. And it was all student-led, based on their vision, initiative and leadership to do something great.
Technology played a major role: audience members asked questions live via Twitter. How might you have responded to these sample questions from the audience?
So is meat quality related to animal welfare? #farm2fork— kelly guthrie (@kelly_guthrie) March 28, 2013
#farm2fork why aren't more farms open for tours?— Stacie Seger (@StacieSeger) March 28, 2013
#farm2fork Isn't there a negative side effect to eating corn for cattle? Such as ankle tenderness or swelling?— Zach Rusk (@zachrusk24) March 28, 2013
Can pigs be directly grass fed? #Farm2Fork— Libby Bender (@LibbyBender24) March 28, 2013
What do you think is the most effective way to educate consumers on where their food comes from? #farm2fork— Lydia Nader (@lnader16) March 28, 201
can we please talk about how feeding the world is not a viable argument since 50% of food is WASTED worldwide #farm2fork— Rachel Metzler (@mennalehcar) March 28, 2013
The panelists tackling the questions, (a farmer, a food blogger, a vet and a representative from Chipotle) came from diverse backgrounds and beliefs about food, and had a civil, honest and fair dialogue: No finger pointing. No “guns blazing”. No desparate attempt to prove themselves right at the expense of proving others wrong. Kudos for modeling that we can disagree without having a food fight (pun intended).
Thank you to all the students for being adventurous to try something new, to share your vision, to collaborate on something that was bigger than yourselves and to do it all with style and class.
What were students saying during and after the event?
Listen to Collegiate Young Farmer Kelly Fager describe the event (courtesy of Brownfield)
Darrell Rubel is Ohio Farm Bureau's Director of Learning Delivery.