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'Farm Babe' set to bust myths at Hamburg Fairgrounds event

Michelle Miller grew up in Oshkosh, Wisc., and spent her young adult years in Los Angeles and Chicago, so she considered herself a "city girl."

That is, until she met her boyfriend and moved in with him on his Iowa farm. But it was hard to let go of that city view of farming, which for her was simple: organic and grass-fed, good; pesticides, bad.

"It clunked me over the head, really, because of the way he was so nonchalant. I said, 'Are your crops GMO?' He looked at me like I had three heads," she said. "I think a lot of farmers are disconnected from the disconnect because they’ve never lived in a city."

And now Miller, who has created the "Farm Babe" persona writing for Agdaily.com and speaking engagements, is trying to bridge the disconnect between farmers and consumers. She's been living on a farm and farming for six years.

She will be speaking about "Myth-busting in Agriculture" at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Agriculture Discovery Center at the Hamburg Fairgrounds for an Educator Development Day in Agriculture Based Education, a daylong session of workshops and speakers aimed at educators and youth group leaders.

"The perception I had has done a 180," Miller said.

She said she realized it's OK to buy the less expensive food, and it's OK if you can't afford organic products.

"We all have the same common goal. We all want what's best for ourselves and the planet," she said.

Miller's talk is open to the public for $20, less than the cost of the daylong training that will offer workshop sessions to educators and youth group leaders that include hands-on activities with that can be brought back to the classroom.

The program is sponsored by the Erie County Agricultural Society in cooperation with the Seeds of Living Education organization, which started living gardens in Hamburg Central Schools.

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