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Just four years ago, Meals in the Field was a hypothetical program on Hannah Günther’s Nebraska Expansion Program app to help bachelor farmers prepare quick, easy, and portable meals.

Fast forward to 2022 and Gunther, a nutrition and healthy eating educator in Cuming County, has managed to organize nutrition education to help adults and their families make healthy food choices during busy seasons.

“Food in the Field is a set of tools that provide all the information you need to make small changes to your diet and incorporate healthier eating into your daily life,” Gunther said.

“Eating is one of the most enjoyable parts of life, the highlight of every person’s day, and this program is in no way suggesting that you change your diet. I will never tell someone they can’t or any food is off limits.”

After starting her career at Extension, Gunther transitioned to rural life, moving into her husband’s farming and cattle-feeding business near West Point.

Knowing that the biggest driver of Nebraska’s economy is the farming industry and her new life on the farm, Gunther said the driving force behind Eating in the Field was her personal experience with her husband’s eating habits and how they changed during particularly busy harvest periods. and landings.

“When I started in expansion, I never thought in a million years that I wanted to focus on feeding farmers, but I realized that this is what I am so passionate about,” Gunther said.

“I never went down this path without marrying my husband, and I don’t think I would have cared much if I hadn’t moved to a rural community and been surrounded by it day in and day out.”

Her new role, living and working in the countryside, contrasted sharply with her upbringing in Texas, where farming was not at the forefront of her life. Günther is particularly accustomed to her husband’s 18-hour work day, busy planting and harvesting seasons, and busy weather conditions, markets, and politics.

With the limited options for healthy eating in the countryside and the plethora of convenience food options, Gunther said she has seen first hand how easily healthy eating has been put on the back burner for her husband and others living modern lifestyles on the go.

After being approached by a local hospital for help with nutrition education, Gunther went on a mission to provide valuable tools to help others make healthy choices during busy times of the year as well as in everyday life.

“Living in the countryside, I see these people every day. My husband loves his job as a feedlot manager and I am pleased to see how happy he is,” Gunther said. “How can I take care of these people? I want them to do their job the best they can every day. How can i do this? That was my goal.”

With the intention of caring for growers and helping them become healthier, Gunther said she was shocked to find scant research on farm growers’ diets despite extensive field-related farm safety and mental health research. Seeing disunity and underserved audiences, Gunther launched Food in the Field in 2018 to put more emphasis on feeding those who feed us.

Gunther said she also wants to help others through the transformation she went through as she adjusted to rural life, coming from the city and little knowledge of agriculture.

“I was very nervous about moving to my husband’s feedlot and it was a really serious learning curve for me at first. Every day I learn something and see the concern of farmers not only for land and livestock,” Gunther said.

“I want people to have a better connection to the agricultural industry and I have tried to make the industry stand out with what I do every day.”

Thus was born Gunther’s Instagram platform, feedlotsofpeople, which she launched completely unrelated to work when she realized that everyone was looking for nutrition information on their phones.

While she said it started out as just a recipe file, it has evolved into a place dedicated to teaching nutrition and recipes from Food in the Field, as well as learning where food comes from and her daily life in which she raises hers. family in agriculture.

Her work with the Nebraska Extension and social media platforms is a natural combination of her passion for cooking and providing delicious nutritional information in an aesthetically pleasing way.

For those interested in having food in the field as part of their next meeting, program or conference, please follow the link. food.unl.edu/foodinthefield. To continue to share relevant information with rural communities, they created an electronic newsletter as an extension of Food in the Field.

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