The Stanislaus County Farm Bureau was recently honored for having the state’s most creative, forward-thinking program — a video series which shows just how vital local agriculture is when it comes to meals made at some of our favorite Central Valley eateries. 

The recognition for SCFB’s “Farm Bureau Foodies” series came recently as the nonprofit attended the California Farm Bureau’s annual meeting in Southern California. Out of over 50 farm bureaus throughout the state, SCFB was presented with the Innovator Award for the series, which launched with its first video in September.

The award was voted on by the statewide farm bureau membership and featured stiff competition from other farm bureaus, including programs which organized vaccination clinics for farm workers and studied agriculture-related fire relief. SCFB Farm News Editor Anna Genasci, who hosts the Farm Bureau Foodies videos, said it was an honor for the series to be recognized by farm bureau peers. 

“Our amazing team here came up with this idea of highlighting our local growers and ranchers, but we kind of took a different angle,” Genasci said. “A lot of folks have heard of Farm to Fork, so we decided to go the other route and capture folks who may not necessarily be interested in agriculture, but they appreciate where their food comes from and maybe just want to see a great cooking demonstration.”

The goal from there is to draw the previously-uninterested viewer into the world of ag, sparking an interest in local growers and the farming powerhouse known as Stanislaus County. 

The effort so far has been a success, with the first video in the Farm Bureau Foodies series generating over 45,000 views. Genasci visits Chef John at Oakdale’s Redwood Cafe to see firsthand how he uses Fiscalini Bandage Wrapped Cheddar in the restaurant’s shrimp and grits recipe, highlighting the county’s dairy industry and the Modesto-based cheese company. 

Next, Genasci and the filming crew will head to Roberts Ferry Gourmet (previously Roberts Ferry Nut Co.) to see how the Waterford business utilizes the county’s top commodity, almonds, in its milkshakes. The video is set to be released early in the New Year and can be viewed on the series’ Facebook page, www.facebook.com/FarmBureauFoodies. 

The innovative series has been made possible by generous sponsors, Genasci added, and its recognition will hopefully lead to more communication between SCFB and the community in the future. 

“This idea came from the very young and progressive executive team on our board who see the value in creating a better line of communication between us as agriculturalists and the consumers,” Genasci said. “I think there’s a lot of misconception about where food comes from, and not only should you feel great about eating a California-grown or Stanislaus-grown product and know it’s a safe food source, but you should also have pride that this is being farmed by families in the very community that you live in.”

Local restaurants who would like their dishes with locally-sourced ingredients featured in the Farm Bureau Foodie series can contact the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau at 209-522-7278 or reach Genasci at annag@stanfarmbureau.org