IL Harvest Dinner II

Sep 26, 2016

I started advocating for agriculture at 19, for the reasons that most of us in agriculture start. I was fed up with how our industry was being talked about, especially with the facts on our side. So, I started creating, fact after fact, image after image, full of passion for “setting the record straight”.

As you might have noticed, my approach is softer these days. I still create shareable images when I get worked up, but over the years, I’ve started to realize that probably isn’t the best way. Yes, facts and strong words and a good argument are important, but not as important as the relationship. Person-to-person. Producer-to-consumer. Parent-to-parent.

It’s important to be REAL, a value I felt strongly enough about to put in the title of my page from the start: Keeping it Real: Through the Lens of a Farm Girl. But now, REAL doesn’t mean setting the record straight as much as it means being human, sharing experiences, building relationships. And that’s one (of many) things that the IL Harvest Dinner does so, so, SO well.


This year’s location was Thomas and Breann Titus’ farm – and it was GORGEOUS.



A powerful visual. Lots of folks are concerned about the amount of hormones in cattle with growth promotants, usually implanted behind the ear. This visual puts it in perspective perfectly. Items we deem perfectly normal/healthy, such as birth control, peas and potatoes have MUCH more estrogen in them than an implanted steer.


The reactions to the visual looked like this. So, facts are still good!


But real conversation, that’s even better.


And that’s what draws the crowd, the promise of real conversation with those who grow our food.


The folks who made it all happen:


Sara, of So Chic Events, did a WONDERFUL job of making such a beautiful & inviting space.


Thomas and Breann hosted the event.


And Katie and Mary are the brilliant minds that put it all together!

eehnle395a1184 As always, I loved being a part of this event. As the photographer, I’m very much the fly on the wall, and get to see/hear bits and pieces of all that’s going on around me. Those bits and pieces are so encouraging, so inspiring and renew my energy for both the life we live and the story we tell.

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