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Farm to Family Connection

hokey-butt.JPGThere is something about farm life that makes a family special. A bond is formed through daily chores, hauling manure, taking care of baby calves and watching animals grow. It's about raising livestock to feed the neighbors and about making sacrifices to get the job done. It's a way of life that I'm very fond of, and this weekend, I was able to escape the hustle and bustle of school life to visit a friend's farm over the weekend. It was a relaxing weekend spent looking at baby calves, clipping steers for the next cattle show and enjoying the unusually warm weather.

As the weekend came to a close, it seemed fitting to recieve an email about a rancher that authored a toolkit that celebrates family farm life called, Farm to Family Connection.

This toolkit provides the nuts and bolts for launching a local food campaign in any region in the country. It utilizes the ground-breaking "Farm to Family Connection" radio and web-based local food promotional campaign begun in 2004 by a group of family farmers, supportive sponsors and a local radio station in Yankton, SD. After nearly 300 programs and a strong track record for articulating the locally raised food message to area consumers, this program has become a beacon and guidepost for farmers, farm organizations, farmers markets and local radio stations who want to replicate the project in their own vicinities.

This booklet and accompanying CD provide examples and ideas, transcripts and tried and true guidelines for utilizing varied media sources to drive home the local food message. Locally raised food is healthy, nutritious and economically beneficial to specific regions and the family farmers who live and work there. It provides a connection with consumers not only to the food they eat, but also to the land where it is grown and the families who raise that food. That is what this project and this toolkit are all about - connecting people with their food.

Although I haven't looked over this toolkit yet, I think it's worth exploring. If it piqued your interest, you can order it online here, or contact Northeast Nebraka RC&D, 702 E. Park Ave., Plainview, NE 68769 or call 402-582-4866.