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Chefs Meet Producers in Farm-to-Table Food Tour

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NEVADA, Iowa -- A tour group today was visiting area farms on a unique mission. That is to get to know the people and methods of food production on Iowa farms.

The Iowa Beef Industry Council, along with Midwest Dairy invited some culinary instructors from community colleges around the state to give them a look at where food comes from.

“It’s an ongoing discussion, on how cattle is raised, what’s good what’s bad, there’s always going to be a debate,” said Geoffrey Phillipson, a South Africa native who is an instructor at Iowa Central Community College Culinary Arts program. "From a chef’s perspective, I think I always have to be you know finding out exactly what is in my food.”

The group paid a visit to the farm of Brian Sampson, who had worked a farm that was in his family, since 1974. He told the group about the different feed rations he uses to help cattle gain weight before market. He also talked about the challenge of ever-changing regulations and expectations.

“We used to sell our same product it used to say corn-fed, were efficient,” said Sampson."Now those same things we used to use fifty years ago to demonstrate how good we are..now they are bad.”

In a discussion held in a feed barn the chefs and the farmer had an interesting conversation about our food, and how it’s produced.

“Because when they’re on pasture when they’re on grass, they’re spending most of their time trying to get enough nutrients to survive, “ said Sampson. "They’re spending all their time, eating, you kind of want to duplicate that a little bit, with your ration.”

"Complete transparency, we telling exactly where it’s from the chef comes out, he gives you your food, said Chef Phillipson. "Ask him any question like he was the producer, he tells you everything about it."

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