CommonGround Takes Cooking, Conversations to Kitchens Across the Country

September 17, 2020

CommonGround Takes Cooking, Conversations to Kitchens Across the Country

Sep 17, 2020

Key Issues:Consumer Engagement

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

CommonGround hosted a virtual cooking class for consumers, made possible through St. Paul, Minnesota-based Cooks of Crocus Hill. Last week, more than 50 attendees from across the country welcomed CommonGround into their kitchens to learn about preparing great food from professionals and to find out more about their food from the women who grow it.


Two farmers involved in raising or growing of ingredients spotlighted for each of the three courses, shared their story with influential and interested consumers. Through an interactive discussion, attendees found out not just about cooking but also about farming and how to continue dialogue that is honest and open between the farm and their families.


With participants from California bloggers to DC-based leaders in food non-profits, the impacts of the event will continue to spread on social media over the coming weeks. Keep an eye out!


Thank you so much to all of the awesome state staff and volunteers who came together to keep consumer efforts moving in this new and different environment.


Farmers featured during the appetizer course included Jocelyn Schlichting Hicks of Minnesota who discussed biotechnology as a potato grower and Pam Selz-Pralle of Wisconsin who told the story of caring for her cows as a dairy farmer. During the entrée segment, Joan Ruskamp of Nebraska discussed antibiotics and animal health from her perspective as a beef rancher and Maryland farmer, volunteer and Registered Dietitian Jennie Schmidt, who also grows Roma tomatoes, brought information about pesticides to light. The evening wrapped up on a sweet note, with Iowa dairy farmer Lynn Bolin discussing sustainability and Kim Baldwin of Kansas sharing on everything from eggs to food prices during the dessert course.


As always, the farmers featured were supported by fellow volunteers including Sondra Pierce of Colorado, Lauren Biegler of Minnesota and Kyla Hamilton of Texas. Together, these women rounded out the team and showed the program’s grassroots, authentic approach to conversations in action.