Farm to Table presented money raised at the 2021 event to the FFA, 4-H, and The Heritage Arts, Science, and Tourism Center (the group that administers the Historic McConnell House in Wurtland).
The Future Farmers of America helps prepare future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population, the 4-H helps to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility and life skills for the future.
The mission statement of The Heritage Arts, Science and Tourism Center reads, “The mission of the McConnell House shall be the preservation of regional culture and history through educational exhibits and programs in the arts and sciences.”
The Farm to Table dinner concept began in early 2019 when Kenny Imel from Greenup County Farm Bureau and Imel’s Greenhouse, presented the concept of a farm to table dinner to Bud Matheny, President of the Historic McConnell House. Soon several organizations including Future Farmers of America, 4-H and The McConnell house joined in the project. The concept soon grew, and other participants joined the committee and included the Greenup County Farm Bureau, Sweet Bee Gardens and the Greenup County Old Tractors Machinery and Equipment Club.
The presentation recognized the hard work of the committee, which included Carrie Davis (committee chair) who represented Greenup County FFA, Imel from Greenup County Farm Bureau and Imel’s Greenhouse, and 4-H was represented by Shawna McCormick.
Matheny and Jody Hannah represented The McConnell House, Brenda and Jim Fields represented Sweet Bee Gardens and Mike Bryant, of Old Tractor and Equipment Club, provided ice cream churned with an antique engine.
The 2021 Farm To Table Dinner made up for the missed dinner in 2020. This event, conducted in the new greenhouses at Imel’s Greenhouse, hosted 450 to 500 guests and included a spirited auction, entertainment and ended with a spectacular fireworks display.
The dinner featured Kentucky Proud and locally grown produce. Ryan Quarles, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner, stated at the event that this was the largest Farm to Table event held in the State of Kentucky. A feature this year was the adding of a Sponsorship Program which was an outstanding success. This addition will be expanded and featured once again in 2022. The committee has already started working on the 2022 event. Imel recently stated, “the 2022 event will be even bigger and better.”
The 2021 Greenup County Farm to Table Dinner Event, which became the largest in the commonwealth, managed to raise $18,000 that will be split evenly between the three local non-profit organizations that helped organize and conduct the event hosted by Imel's Greenhouse.
The Greenup County 4-H Youth Livestock Committee will use its portion to help pay on the brand new pens it purchased. Besides being used for the county fair and youth livestock sale, the pens will be used throughout the year for educational outreach, agricultural advocacy and community service.
The Greenup County FFA uses its profits to help members attend leadership development events such as the National FFA Convention and the 212/360 Leadership Conference. Both of these events involve national level leadership curriculum. The next GC Farm to Table Dinner is set for Saturday, July 16, 2022.