An Evening on the Farm – Q&A with DTSF Director Joe Batcheller

Downtown Sioux Falls Executive Director Joe Batcheller joined us last week for “An Evening on the Farm.” Dave Poppens, a farmer near Lennox, gave a tour of his farm, and engaged in some meaningful conversations about food and its connection to farming including information about his cattle, the equipment he uses on the farm and how farmers properly apply pesticides. We checked in with Joe after the event to hear more about his experience.

HFT: Do you think it’s important to make a connection between farming and food?

Joe: Absolutely. It all starts here in South Dakota. It’s the families in rural South Dakota who are in large part responsible for the origin of the food on your plate.

I grew up in Sioux Falls. A lot of my friends growing up didn’t have a clue about their food and its connection to agriculture. I think Hungry for Truth is a great way to make that connection with folks who aren’t involved in farming.

HFT: What surprised you most about visiting Dave’s farm?

Joe: How advanced agriculture has become. It’s pretty amazing how precise farmers can be with planting and how they care for their crops throughout the season. Dave’s nephew, Eric, showed us this cool app on his tablet that lets them map out exactly how much they planted per square foot. They could tell exactly how the seed needed to be planted and how they needed to care for it based on the type of soil and the nutrients and moisture in that area. Technology has eliminated a lot of the guesswork in farming.

HFT: When you think about food and its connection to farming, what was the most helpful thing you learned?

Joe: The holistic approach that farmers take to food production. Crops like soybeans can be used for vegetable oil, human consumption or livestock feed. On Dave’s farm, they are able to create some of the feed for their cattle right there on the farm. Understanding that cycle from start to finish was really beneficial to see.

HFT: What advice would you give to South Dakotans who want to know more about food and farming?

Joe: If you haven’t been out on a farm lately, get out there. Get out in the country. Connect with some of our fellow South Dakotans. Connect with the land. Connect what’s on your plate to your neighbors in the country.

Want to learn more from a farmer or visit a farm like Joe? Hungry for Truth can connect you. Just check out our Contact page and let us know!