Looking at the other side of Iowa agriculture, the food side of things as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig tours an innovative FFA program. Midland FFA has a meat science lab and is looking at a greenhouse to create products and put them into the school lunch program. Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig talked about viewing our ag products from a table view.
“We love talking about what we grow, how much we produce those corn, soybeans, pork, beef, all that,” Secretary Naig said. “And we need to be thinking a lot more about the other end of the supply chain, which is frankly, where most consumers view agriculture from that chair of a consumer, I’ve got food on the plate. So, we’re continuing to look at how do you get more people interested in that which is why I love talking with the students this morning. They were making bratwurst. They were frying it up. They were brining some chicken. I mean, they were doing all kinds of things related to food. Then to come here to Moore Local where you’ve got a dairy processing unit here. They’re making cheese curds, we’ve got a new meat locker within the last couple of years, and a really cool store that’s all about all kinds of local products from all over the region. I love this, we need to see a lot more of what’s happening here.
Certainly connecting dots for students is part of the equation here with FFA programs. There may be needs to be a business plan around all of this food production so there’s a learning opportunity there. Perhaps there needs to be a food safety plan as well. Of course, farm to fork for kids who are not connected with production agriculture so they can see it, touch it, feel it, eat it and learn it, which is what education of course is all about.