Questions regarding food safety and concerns about farming practices continue to be on the forefront of the consumer mind. In an effort to answer some of these questions, The Kansas Soybean Commission, Kansas Pork Association and Kansas Farm Bureau hosted a Farm Food Tour that offered a unique experience to visit with producers and industry professionals. Influential consumers, those who have a role in educating and communicating about food and nutrition, including registered dietitians and lifestyle bloggers, were invited to attend.

The group spent three days traveling to locations in Kansas, Missouri and Illinois, visiting Merck Animal Health, Monsanto, The Maschhoffs and Central Missouri Meat and Sausage. The tour addressed concerns such as antibiotic use, hormones, GMOs, and how livestock are processed.

“I really enjoyed seeing the science that goes into the technology being used,” said Anna Binder, registered dietitian.

Binder says learning about the use of antibiotics and vaccines in regard to animal care is one of the most valuable points she took away from the tour.

“Food labeling would have us think that most of the meat on the market is tainted with ‘harmful antibiotics’, which I learned is simply not true. With a better understanding of the technology, I’m able to better answer questions for my patients and concerns that my clients have about where our food comes from.”

Attendees were given surveys before and after the tour to determine how informed they were on these the topics of antibiotics, hormones and GMOs.

“We saw very favorable shifts in the level of knowledge of our attendees,” said Jodi Oleen, KPA Director of Consumer Outreach. “Survey analysis provided us with information showing this tour created a higher level of confidence in today’s farming methods.”

To see more about what the group learned, search #farmfoodtour on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or Periscope.

Farm Food Tour connects consumers to agriculture