“Banquet in a Field” Celebrates 5th Year of Connecting Consumers with Farmers

The fifth annual Banquet in a Field was held Tuesday night near Harwood, North Dakota, hosted by CommonGround North Dakota.

CommonGround North Dakota is a group of farmers working to bring clarity to discussions about food and farming. The program is about starting a conversation between farmers who grow food and consumers who buy it.

Banquet in a Field is a multi-course meal, with this year featuring 12 North Dakota crops along with three meats, honey and dairy.

Guests had a chance to get a closer look at each crop in a plot area and taste appetizers featuring the food grown from the field. North Dakota grown ingredients were prepared onsite by local-chefs and food-writers Tony and Sarah Nasello together with NDSU Animal Science.

I talked with Spencer Wirt, Manager of NDSU’s Meat Lab, about the main meat attraction on the grill for the evening.

The menu also featured pork and lamb appetizers.  Spencer was getting a hand at the grill from Billy Ogdahl, the Beef Unit Manager at NDSU.

The menu varies from year to year – and Spencer says one popular beef item from the past was tri-tip steak.

Meanwhile, Sarah Nasello told me how much work and preparation goes into the meal for 120 people – in the middle of a field…..

Checkoff-funded consumer market research shows that the key generation for beef marketing – millennials – practically live on their computer devices. North Dakota beef producer Travis Maddock was on-hand at the Banquet in the Field on behalf of the North Dakota Beef Commission. We visited about the event’s impact on today’s consumer audience.

Hosts Julie and Carl Peterson

The farm to table event was held at the homestead of CommonGround volunteer Julie Peterson and her husband Carl.