By Justin Walker
Communications Specialist

Food and how it’s grown were the focus of a Tuesday evening dinner when farmers, commodity leaders and media gathered at a Hill County farm to discuss how food is grown and the families behind it.

Field to Fork, an event hosted by the Water Grows Initiative, connected food influencers and decision makers with the farmers who grow their food.

Attendees gathered at the Schronk Farm in Hill County, where they could walk through corn fields, visit with farmers and commodity groups and taste hors d’oeuvres made with Texas-grown ingredients. A three-course meal provided by Rough Creek Lodge highlighted the diversity of food items grown in the Lone Star State.

Rodney Schronk, whose farm hosted the event, spoke to those in attendance about farming in today’s society, as well as the significant gap between agriculture and consumers.

Schronk said hosting this event presented an opportunity to address misconceptions about agriculture.

“It means a tremendous amount to me,” he said. “As farmers, we’re not always comfortable telling our stories. We want to be out in the fields growing crops and caring for the soil. This event was an opportunity to connect with others who we, as farmers, may not always reach out to.”

Texas Corn Producers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), who partner to form the Water Grows Initiative, plan and execute these events throughout the year to share agricultural stories and build connections.

Schronk opened up about his past and how trials he faced has impacted his farming philosophies. He said events, such as Field to Fork, allow farmers and ranchers an opportunity to share their stories face-to-face with influencers and let them see the emotional side of agriculture.

“It’s not the most comfortable thing to do, getting up here and talking about things that are personal,” he said. “But we have to do it.”

Schronk hopes to see events like this continue in the future, but said they need to grow larger to meet the needs of an ever-growing consumer base. He believes partnerships such as the one between Texas Corn Producers and the USDA-NRCS will allow for that growth to occur.