Celebrate the season of giving with food, farmers and Toys for Tots

Celebrate the season of giving with food, farmers and Toys for Tots

Posted Nov. 19, 2012

Dec. 1 “Talkin’ Farming at the Shed” to feature Iowa pork producers at Machine Shed in Urbandale

Iowa pork producers Aaron and Trish Cook of Winthrop will be the featured farmers for “Talkin’ Farming at the Shed” to be held Saturday, Dec. 1, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Machine Shed Restaurant in Urbandale.


The event is sponsored by the Machine Shed Restaurant, Iowa Food & Family Project and the Iowa Pork Producers Association.


The Cooks will meet and greet those who enjoy great food, but rarely have an opportunity to visit with the people who grow it. Aaron and Trish and their children: Holly, 15, Spencer, 13, and Kirby, 9, manage a modern hog farm in Buchanan County and raise nearly 30,000 pigs annually. Nearly one-third of the family’s hog herd is marketed to Tyson Fresh Meats in Waterloo. The Cooks also have an on-farm feed mill where they grind, mix and deliver the feed for their pigs.


Aaron and Trish are Master Pork Producers and Pork All-Americans and recipients of the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award. Trish serves on the IPPA Promotions Committee, while Aaron is a member of the East Buchanan School Board. He also serves on the board of directors for Camp Courageous of Iowa and is a Buchanan County Zoning commissioner.


“Iowa farmers appreciate the opportunity to tell our story,” says Trish. “We are passionate about caring for our animals and producing a quality and economical product for the consumer.”


“Most importantly, we give back to the community through donations of our products to school and non-profit groups,” she adds. “Donating to Toys for Tots is a great way to give a message of hope to less fortunate children this holiday season.”


In the spirit of the season, the Machine Shed will host a Toys for Tots toy drive Dec. 1. There are children in Iowa who won’t receive any gifts this holiday season and the Machine Shed will be collecting new, unwrapped toys for boys and girls, newborn to 14 years old. Patrons who donate a toy valued at $10 or more will receive a complimentary apple dumpling dessert. Toys also will be available for purchase and donation in the Shed’s gift shop.


The combination of real farmers and real food is the idea behind “Talkin’ Farming at the Shed.” Contests and activities, including the chance to win fine cuts of Iowa pork, will take place throughout the evening and a special pork entrée of cranberry-stuffed pork chops cordon bleu will be added to the menu.


“The Machine Shed is a Midwest landmark known for its down-home cooking served family style and we’re excited to partner in this celebration of good food and the farmers who grow it,” says Steve Britton, chief operating executive for the Urbandale Machine Shed Restaurant. “We’re also pleased to offer an opportunity for those who would like to donate a toy to a child in need during this season of giving.”


“Talkin’ Farming at the Shed” is held periodically throughout the year. Each event showcases a different farmer and commodity. For more information, log on to www.machineshed.com and www.iowafoodandfamily.com.


The Iowa Food & Family Project (www.facebook.com/foodnfamilies) is a purpose-driven initiative created by the Iowa Soybean Association and dedicated to inspiring greater awareness, understanding and trust between consumers and farmers through personal engagement and advocacy. It proudly serves as presenting sponsor of the Iowa Games and supporter of Live Healthy Iowa and is backed by more than 30 partners including the Iowa Pork Producers Association, Farm Credit Services of America, Iowa Grocery Industry Association and Midwest Dairy Association. It’s funded in part by the Soybean Checkoff.