Dinner on the Prairie
Dinner on the Prairie serves up conversations about agriculture
Story By: Heather Miecher
The inaugural Dinner on the Prairie, in partnership with Common Ground North Dakota and many sponsors, was held this July at South Prairie. The excitement for such an event near Minot was credible, bringing forth a well-attended and memorable event. The mission of Dinner on the Prairie was to bring together a group of farmers, ranchers, educators and agriculturists to empower and educate people to feel confident about their food decisions and showcase the diversity of North Dakota agriculture.
Dinner on the Prairie was hosted in a freshly cut alfalfa field, surrounded by plots of crops prominent to that area of North Dakota. Tables were set, farm equipment was on display and music filled the atmosphere. Before the meal, guests had the opportunity to visit with local farmers and ranchers. They tasted locally made beer and wine, and perused the crops some had only seen through car windows. The meal featured North Dakota products and was prepared by Chef Jeremy Mahany of The Starving Rooster in Minot. The savory dishes were served family-style and included braised lamb shank, candied nut-crusted bison tenderloin, locally grown vegetables and as a finale’, candied maple bacon ice cream. Serving the meal were approximately 30 FFA members of two local chapters, including four North Dakota State FFA officers.
During the meal, guests were invited to write down agricultural related questions to ask the expert panel. One question was specifically on GMOs, and the expert panel provided a factual, thorough and clear answer. These are the type of questions that the organizing committee hoped for and were appreciative that “common ground” was met. The feedback received from guests was phenomenal. Jonah J. Jantto of The Good Talk says, “It was nothing short of magnificent. Beyond the wonderful atmosphere and deliciously prepared food – I particularly appreciated the opportunity to engage and converse with the many area growers/farmers/ranchers.” Guests also gave the event committee some great ideas for next year along with the courage and drive to keep going. Guest Jennifer Kleen says, “Clever idea and well – executed opportunity. I learned what a lentil plant looks like while sampling lentils in a new way. Simple. Beautiful. Important. Thank you!”
The Dinner on the Prairie event committee says, “Thank you and God Bless,” to our volunteers, sponsors and the North Dakota agricultural community. Until next year …