Consumers and farmers dine together at Farm to Table event

Wisconsin Farm to Table
Farmers and consumers gather together to share food and conversation about Wisconsin's diverse food offerings during the Farm to Table event at Voegeli Farms Inc., near Monticello on Aug. 19, 2017.

MONTICELLO, WI – Wisconsin Farm to Table hosted a record-breaking 120 consumers and farmers for the organization’s fourth annual Farm to Table dinner event held at Voegeli Farms, Inc., near Monticello, WI, on Aug. 19.

Attendees of the sold-out event gathered to enjoy conversation and education over an elegant five-course dinner experience within the rolling pasture of the country’s oldest Brown Swiss dairy cattle herd.

Designed to bring consumers and farmers together to explore the world of agriculture, the evening’s events focused on animal care, environmental practices, and the safe and pure food products consumed at family dinner tables throughout the year.

Brown Swiss dairy cattle mill about on the cow yard at Voegeli Farms, Inc., near Montello, the site of the Farm to Table dinner on Aug. 19.

Diverse and local

“The goal of our dinner events is to empower consumers with knowledge about their food,” explains Kari Kuehl, founder of Wisconsin Farm to Table organization. “Wisconsin agriculture provides food that is diverse and local. We simply pull it all together to help attendees see the whole picture – eventually connecting it to their own dinner plates at home.”

Tours of the Voegeli Farm kicked off the 2017 event festivities, while a cheese, wine, and beer reception in the barn's hay mow encouraged mixing and mingling around the farm’s historic Brown Swiss cattle memorabilia. The Jimmy’s band, including Jimmy Voegeli, one of the Voegeli family farm owners, provided entertainment for the crowd prior to dinner.

The dinner was prepared by local chef, Tyler Sailsbery, the head chef and owner of The Black Sheep in Whitewater, WI, while the dessert course was created by another local connoisseur, Baker Kurt Kline, who works with Chef Mike Nevil to offer baked delicacies at the New Glarus Hotel and Restaurant.

Staff serves up pork liver and brick cheese stuffed doughnuts alongside a whiskey cranberry gravy during the Farm to Table event on Aug. 19.

The dinner menu included: Pork liver and brick cheese stuffed doughnut alongside a whiskey cranberry gravy; smoked pork cheek salad with egg yolk dressing, picked veggies and sprouts, and shaved natural swiss cheese; yogurt soup with smoked chicken, chickpeas, and rice; slow roasted goat and curry yogurt marsala over rice, served with pickled veggies and cucumber yogurt and chocolate raspberry yogurt cheesecake.

Local farmers and distributors contributed ingredients to the eclectic meal, bringing exceptional flavors to the table. A portion of those contributors shared their farm and business story as it complemented the dinner course in which their ingredient was featured, in addition to each course description presented by the creator chef.

Those presenting at this year’s event included: Green Fire Farm, Monticello: Jim and Jacob Marty contributed pork; Glacial Lake Cranberries, Wisconsin Rapids: Mary Brazeau Brown contributed cranberries; Parrfection Produce, Albany: David Parr contributed local vegetables; 45 Farm, LLC, Jackson: Terry Groth contributed goat; J. Henry and Sons, Dane: Joe, Liz, Joe Jr., and Jack Henry contributed bourbon.; and Yodelay Yogurt, Madison: Markus Candinas contributed yogurt made from the Voegeli’s own Brown Swiss cow milk.

Exceptional Wisconsin products were also showcased from the following farmers and suppliers during the event’s opening reception: cheeses from Chalet Cheese Cooperative, Chula Vista Cheese Company, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, Edelweiss Creamery, Emmi Roth USA, and Klondike Cheese Company, wine from Botham Vineyards and Winery, Fisher King Winery, Hawk’s Mill Winery, and Toot and Kate’s Wine Bar, and beer from New Glarus Brewing Company.

Each year, the Wisconsin Farm to Table dinner events’ profits are donated to a non-profit organization of the host farm’s choosing. This year, the Voegeli family named the Monticello Lions Club as the recipients of those proceeds. 

Those interested in attending the 2018 Wisconsin Farm to Table event, or in helping with future events can sign up for e-mail updates at: Wisconsin Farm to Table. Learn more about Wisconsin Farm to Table by visiting or liking Wisconsin Farm to Table on Facebook.

Wisconsin Farm to Table is a non-profit event organization established in 2013 to offer an on-farm experience, with a farm tour, elegant dinner, and dialogue between those interested in agriculture and where their food originates.