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Dinner brings consumers, growers to the table
Farm to Table Dinner
At the National Ag Science Center Farm to Table Dinner, consumers will get a chance to speak directly to local growers about the regions agricultural industry and enjoy a multi-course meal featuring locally-produced food. - photo by Photo Contributed

It is not often that consumers get to share the dinner table with the growers who are responsible for the meal in front of them.

At the National Ag Science Center and Stanislaus Farm Supply Farm to Table Dinner, however, consumers will get a chance to do exactly that in order to learn more about the region’s agricultural industry.

As the premier provider of hands-on agricultural science education and career connections, the National Ag Science Center decided to begin hosting these dinners four years ago when they noticed a disconnect between consumers and growers.

“We do a great deal of work educating kids about where food comes from, but we find that a lot of adults don’t really know where their food comes from,” said National Ag Science Center Director Michele Laverty. “This is an event where we can help make that connection for them to who grows their food.”

During the Farm to Table Dinner, guests will receive a multi-course meal prepared by Greens Table featuring locally-produced cheeses, fruits, vegetables, nuts and meats. There will also be opportunities to tour Stanislaus Farm Supply and to try local wine prior to dinner.

“The highlight of the event is the commodities that go into the menu,” said Laverty. “To actually have the growers come in and talk about the passion that goes into growing food, people can see what they do every day and what they did to prepare the actual food they will be eating that night.”

“It’s not just about planting a tree and harvesting it. It’s a year-long job,” continued Laverty.

Guests will also get a chance to tour the National Ag Science Center’s Ag in Motion, which is a mobile science laboratory classroom that travels to schools and invites students with hands-on opportunities to explore science.

According to Laverty, Ag in Motion makes a stop at every middle school in the county at no charge and has engaged 15,000 seventh and eighth graders in ag-related science experiments.

“Guests at the dinner can go in and get a taste of what kids experience at the schools every year,” explained Laverty.

Proceeds from the Farm to Table Dinner will benefit the National Ag Science Center in its endeavor to inspire and excite young minds about the role of science and technology in the production, processing and marketing of agriculture’s food and fiber products.

Laverty reported that funds will go towards Ag in Motion, free summer camps offered by the National Ag Science Center, and science mentoring programs that teach middle school students how to lead science experiments for elementary school students.

“This is definitely a unique event,” concluded Laverty. “It’s not often that you get to sit across from the table from someone who is growing your food. People love to have the opportunity to eat fresh food and meet the people who grow it.”

This year’s Farm to Table Dinner will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 5 at the Stanislaus Farm Supply Research Farm in Modesto.

Tickets cost $70 per person and are on sale until July 23.Those interested in purchasing tickets can do so by visiting or by calling the National Ag Science Center at 521-2902.