The Kansas Pork Association, along with several other ag organizations, sponsored a restaurant crawl that brought together nutrition professionals, chefs and farmers. The event preceded the Kansas Nutrition Council’s annual meeting, which gathers up to 150 Kansas professionals actively involved in nutrition education and health promotion. Their work takes place in colleges and universities, government agencies, cooperative extension, communications and public relations firms, the food industry, voluntary and service organizations and with other reliable places of nutrition and health education information.
“The attendees at this event were such an important group of people for us to reach,” said Jodi Oleen, Director of Consumer Outreach. “These are professionals who are educating people about food and it’s so important that they understand how food is grown and raised.”
About 65 participants visited three restaurants to sample a pairing of spirits and cuisine representing the Kansas farmers and ranchers who help produce it. Each group was escorted by Kansas farmers, including Michael and Christy Springer, who raise pork and row crops near Sycamore, Bob and Mary Mertz, who raise beef and row crops near Zeandale, and Jeff Grossenbacher, who raises row crops near Bern.
At 4 Olives, guests enjoyed red wine with a savory Duroc pork belly over grits and heard from farmers Craig and Amy Good, who raised the meat near Olsburg. Chef Benjamin Scott discussed his restaurant’s relationship with the Goods and the inspiration behind the dish.
At Harry’s Restaurant, guests sampled wine and a prime strip loin with baguettes. They heard from executive chef Cadell Bynum, managing partner Evan Grier and farmers Glenn and Jennifer Brunkow, who raise crops and livestock near Westmoreland.
Tallgrass Taphouse featured pretzel breadsticks with a cheesy beer dipping sauce with a sample of a fruit-infused wheat beer. Brewmaster Brandon Gunn discussed the brewery’s history and rapid rise to success and wheat farmer Ken Wood shared how he raises wheat near Chapman.
The groups reunited at the Tallgrass Taphouse Firkin Room for door prizes, beer flights and conversation to conclude the evening.
Funding Partners included the Kansas Pork Association, Kansas Farm Bureau and Kansas Wheat. Planning Partners included Midwest Dairy, Kansas Beef Council, Kansas Soybean Commission and CommonGround Kansas.