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Corn Quest Blogger Tour 2016

Posted on October 7, 2016 at 7:54 AM by Natalie Te Grootenhuis

Today we hear from one of our wonderful bloggers after her experience at the #iacornquest tour. Sandra McCollum of A Dash of Sanity explains her time here in Iowa. 

          #IACornQuest lit a passion in me to help sustain our earth and our culture of farming, and to have a greater sense beyond myself. I came out more proud of the American heritage of farming, where it has gotten us and where it is taking us. I learned that corn is more than just a side dish at my dinner table.

         Corn feeds our livestock, cars, and homes – and it will continue to grow in its value as a tangible source of energy.

        I am a mother to 5 young kids, blogger and foodie enthusiast, and I love sharing my ways of finding joy in the journey one recipe, one post, one experience at a time. And what’s the “dash” in my sanity?

Family, food and travel.

     I thought #IACornQuest would consist of harvesting and eating a ton of corn. I wasn’t expecting much except maybe a tractor ride and some great recipes. I knew I’d be attending with some of my blogging friends, so I knew going in it would be a great group. I thought, “How fun to go to Iowa - a great place to visit, eat corn (my family’s favorite vegetable) and get some great sunset photos. I did think we’d hear some GMO talk, but wasn’t really sure how it would fit in since I knew the sweet corn we eat doesn’t have GMO.

   Reflecting back on #IACornQuest, my projection was right. I got a tractor ride, ate some great food made from corn (my favorite being Apple Tamales), and met up with some great friends and fellow bloggers.

   What I was amazed by is how much I learned. I now realize how corn is so completely integrated in our lives from food to fuel and everything in between. And my perception of GMO went from being

   “Hmmm… this might not be good” to “Wow, I didn’t realize the ecological footprint benefits that GMO’s have on our earth,” from less pesticide spray to minimizing how many times tractors have to pass on the fields (in many cases, reducing it from 3 passes to 1). The farmers are not only feeding the masses, but also tending to the earth’s needs as well. I learned the majority of the corn grown in Iowa is not actually for our dinner table, but for livestock feed, fuel and other resources like starches. I learned Iowa, as a whole, is a community that relies so much on corn and each other.

   I learned that farming isn’t a job, it’s a passion – a calling of selflessness.

The view of the farmer reaches far beyond his corn fields.

   I am excited to share the delicious and inspired recipes on my blog, along with my journey during #IACornQuest. In addition, I plan on taking on a stronger voice with my local community around the misperceptions on GMO seeds.

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