MANHATTAN — A year off from the Farm Food Tour allowed the event to transform to a more immersive experience for its participants. Kansas Farm Bureau (KFB) partnered with Kansas Soybean Commission to make this the seventh #FarmFoodTour.

Six online influencers embarked Oct. 5 on a three-day tour across Kansas that this year included longer, individualized visits to learn from farmers. Participants split into groups of two and spent an afternoon on farms to experience corn and soybean harvest in northeast Kansas before continuing across the state.  

“Sharing the diversity of Kansas agriculture with online influencers is the heart of the Farm Food Tour,” Sheridan Wimmer, KFB assistant director of communications, says. “There’s no better people to learn about agriculture from than farmers and ranchers. When the Farm Food Tour participants get to put a face to the people growing their food, it makes a positive impact on their trust of the American food system.”

Participant Ariel Johnston says, “I am most excited to share with my followers about the women in agriculture that we met. We had the opportunity to meet three female farmers doing their part to get food to our table and I think that was really neat seeing them challenge the norm.”

She believes sharing the story of the farms she visited will garner trust between consumers and where their food comes from. 

In addition to the three northeast Kansas farms, tour stops included Juniper Hills Farm, Rezac Land and Livestock, Hildebrand Farms Dairy, Tiffany Cattle Company and Leffler Farms.

Johnston says being able to ask direct questions to these farmers about hormones and antibiotic use in livestock was beneficial because those are the types of questions she gets from her clients most often. 

Wimmer says the focus of the program is connecting influencers with farmers to showcase how food is grown with care, and pre and post surveys from attendees show these tours make a difference.

“We see marked changes in participants concerns from before and after the tour. They feel more knowledgeable and get a better understanding of how animals and crops are raised on family farms.”

Participants use the hashtag #farmfoodtour throughout the three-day experience and write blog posts about their experiences.