Seven Nebraska dietitians rolled up their sleeves and experienced the pork industry from farm-to-fork on June 6 and 7 as part of the NPPA’s “Food For Thought Tour. Dietitians play an integral role in educating Nebraska consumers about food and nutrition and frequently field questions from clients and patients about how food is produced. This was the first Food for Thought Tour. The NPPA is planning to make this an annual event.

The Food for Thought Tour illustrated what it takes to raise pigs today, from insemination on a sow farm to learning about pig rations made at an on-farm feed mill. The tour provided relevant, first-hand experiences for the dietitians to help them learn about and grow comfortable when addressing key issues with their customers and clients. Key issues included animal agriculture production, antibiotics, hormones, nutrition research, and meat quality/nomenclature. In addition to their experiences on the farm, the professionals observed carcass fabrication and engaged in hands-on cooking with cutting edge chefs. An evening roundtable with key industry leaders was also a highlight of the two-day immersion.

Special thanks to so many who made this pilot program a great success: Terry & Diane O’Neel, O’Neel Farms; Russ Vering, Central Plains Milling; Charlotte Rommerein, RD; Mike Clark, Provimi North America; Dr. Erin Holmes, Provimi North America; Chef Brandon Harpster, The Single Barrel/Mulberry BBQ/Southeast Community College; Chef Gerrine Schreck Kirby, Southeast Community College; Bill Luckey; Amber Pankonin, RD