Food, fuel, fiber

What is a common thread that connects food, fuel, and fiber?

AGRICULTURE.

If you wear clothes, you the consumer, are involved in agriculture. If you the driver, fill your car’s gas tank with ethanol or grease your bike’s gears, you are involved with agriculture. If you the diner, eat meat, veggies or fruit, you are involved in agriculture.

Iowa’s farmers produce more corn, soybeans, pork, and eggs than any other state in the nation. These are the products that are on our tables and in our lunch boxes. Yet, the number of farms continues to decrease as the number of urban dwellers increase. This promotes misunderstanding for both groups.

Because understanding the 2014 way of farming is vital, the Marshall County Farm Bureau is sponsoring a series of agricultural tours called “Making the Connection.” This is a way for non-farm adults to see what is happening on regular Marshall County farms. And, more importantly, talk to the owners of the farms. This is an opportunity for people who have not been on a farm in a long time or perhaps never, to see how farming is done up close and personal.

On Aug. 21, the first “Making the Connection” tour will be held at the Burt Farms, located just north of Marshalltown at 2747 170th Street.

For nearly 150 years, the Burts have worked together raising quality corn, soybeans and swine. Visitors will tour the operation on a tractor-drawn trolley as they enjoy fresh-grilled pork chops on a stick and talk with family members.

All tours are free, open to the public and will take place on Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m.

Other dates include:

Aug. 28: State Center seed dealer Tom Hemesath and specialty ag farmer Greg Maxwell of rural Rhodes;

Sept. 4: Mosher Angus Farm, Liscomb, and The Market Off Main in Albion;

Sept. 11: Central Iowa Farm Store and Theisen’s in Marshalltown;

Sept. 18: Dave Scott and Heartland Coop near Ferguson.

Transportation information and complete tour details are available by contacting the Marshall County Farm Bureau at 641-753-6637 or via email at marshall.county@ifbf.org