Last week, the “From the Ground Up” event took place at the Greg and Bridgett Belknap farm. A special thank you to them for hosting,


As an annual event, we acknowledge and celebrate the importance of ag in our community. It is also an event where we showcase a unique aspect of agriculture and enjoy food, drink and conversation with a diverse group of attendees. Our food and drink vendors were Jojo’s BBQ, Whole Grain Milling Company, Loxley Coffee, Atypical Acres, and Fairmont Brewing.

Every From the Ground Up event has a theme and this year’s theme was “Made in Martin County.” We focused on the main commodities raised in Martin County and also highlighted products made in Martin County.


Historically, we hold the event at a different Martin County farmer’s site. We try to move the event around the county. And, yes, we will look for a new site next year.


The importance of the event is simple. There are so few people that farm, less than 1%, and yet our impact is great. We feed the world. It is very important to put a face to agriculture and have conversations with people outside of our ag world and show what Martin County agriculture is all about.

The event’s attendees were a diverse group of people from all walks of life. As an invitation-only event, community and business leaders, education and medical leaders, political leaders, along with regional and state leaders were invited. The engagement by all was phenomenal. And that is what it’s about. Person-to-person connections and conversations.

We also include an educational aspect to the event. This year, we had a panel of representatives from Hormel Foods, CHS, and Valero Energy. Since the main three commodities in Martin County are hogs, soybeans and corn, we felt these companies would best represent our local agriculture. Because this is an event targeted towards the non-ag community, we had them highlight what happens to the commodities in our county and also talk about some of the wide variety of products that come from hogs, soybeans and corn. For example, did you know soybean oil worked with Goodyear Tires and you can purchase Skecher Shoes and car tires made from soybean oil?

We appreciate our sponsors. They understand the importance of agriculture and this event. We thank them for their support.

The local FFA groups help with the event. We could not put this event on without their help. Excess proceeds are given to the county FFA. As a token of our appreciation, last year we gave $1000 to each county FFA group.

And a special thank you to the From the Ground Up committee who volunteered their time to put on this event. It is much appreciated!

Here is last year’s event: From the Ground Up – Innovation

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