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AGRIBUSINESS: Food Bloggers Discover Iowa Agriculture

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The connection between where food comes from and how it gets to you isn’t always clear.

The Iowa Corn Growers Association is in its fourth year working to demystify agriculture from start to finish.

“Our goal is to show them the entire agricultural system from our technology all the way to the plate.  So these particular women are food bloggers and they are chefs,” said Iowa Corn Growers CEO Craig Floss.

And the bloggers are from all over the country.  On their trip sponsored by the Iowa Corn Growers Association, they learned about cattle in Nevada, ethanol in Newton and got a chance to cook their own recipes in Des Moines.

Blogger Heidi Larsen from Salt Lake City maintains the Foodie Crush.  She said that for her, the trip was a chance to follow the production chain.

“People want to know where their food started, where the nutritional value is and how it’s going to affect their families,” Larsen said.

“Coming here on the trip has been a huge insight into the actual what’s happening for today’s trends, technology and how it affects today’s home cook,” she said.

When it comes to food, it’s difficult to get away from technology.

Jessica Segarra runs her blog, The Novice Chef, from Tampa.  She said one thing she learned on the trip was exactly how modern agriculture can be.

“I think it’s awesome we use so much technology, we use so much technology in all of our life now,” Segarra said.

“We got to see how they have an auto-pilot and we got to see how it doesn’t even move an inch of the rows, things like that.   It’s almost automatic with the produce and the hogs and the feeding systems, it was really nice to get to learn about that,” she said.

Segarra said she also discovered that modern agriculture doesn’t come at the expense of farm families.  She met a producer living with his wife on 10,000-acres.

Even though they all took the same trip, each blogger came away from the experience with different thoughts on agriculture.   Floss said that was the whole point of the trip.

“We don’t tell them what they should blog about, this is all about putting them in touch with people, with experts that know these various parts of agriculture,” Floss said.

“It allows them to form their own opinions and then educate their followers,” he said.

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