A sold-out crowd of 850 food and wine enthusiasts took part in the second annual The Farmers' Table Wine Trail in Hermann, Mo. The event provided participants with the opportunity to connect with Missouri farmers as they sipped and tasted their way along the wine trail.
Representing a broad spectrum of the state's agriculture community, Missouri CommonGround female farmer volunteers were stationed at each of the seven wineries on the trail to help sort through myths and misconceptions surrounding today's food production.
Sharing ag story
Missouri is one of 20 states participating in the CommonGround program developed by the National Corn Growers Association, the United Soybean Board and their state affiliates. The mission of the volunteer-led program is to share personal experiences, as well as science and research, to help consumers enjoy food without fear.
"I think as moms and women, we are often the people making the tough decisions on what to feed our families," said Addie Yoder, Missouri CommonGround volunteer from Leonard, Mo. "I have to make those same decisions too, and it can be confusing with all the labels and marketing. As volunteers with Missouri CommonGround, we hope to help bridge that gap by sharing our farm stories, cutting through the jargon and connecting on those things that are important to their lives and our lives."
GATHERING TOGETHER: All facets of the agriculture industry greeted wine enthusiasts during an event pulled together by Missouri CommonGround, the Hermann Wine Trail and the Missouri Wine & Grape Board.
But first, wine
The event was made possible through a partnership with Missouri CommonGround, the Hermann Wine Trail and the Missouri Wine & Grape Board.
"With over 1,700 acres of grapes produced by 425 grape growers, the Missouri wine industry plays an important role in the growing agritourism market," said Annette Alden, marketing director for the Missouri Wine & Grape Board. "We are proud to continue this collaboration with our fellow commodity partners and share in telling the many great stories of Missouri agriculture."
STRAIGHT TALK: Missouri’s corn, soybean and beef farmers were on hand to answer consumer questions along the Hermann Wine Trail.
More than grapes
In addition to award-winning Missouri wines, The Farmers' Table Wine Trail showcased corn, beef, pork, chicken, dairy and vegetables — all foods representing the state's vibrant agricultural landscape. Recipe cards also were distributed at each stop, featuring that location's food pairing, as well as facts on modern food production.
"CommonGround is able to successfully make a direct connection between the farm and consumers based on the volunteers' firsthand knowledge," said Brian Lehman, a Missouri Corn board member from Versailles, Mo., who sits on the committee guiding the national CommonGround program. "The volunteers share their own farm and personal experiences with their families. These conversations help build trust through honest answers instead of online searches."