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Branched Oak Farm provides insight into why our food choices matter.

Every time we eat, we’re making a choice and answering the question: “what kind of world do I want to live in?”

It’s why restaurants like Kitchen Table in the Old Market in Omaha are important.  Not just because the food they serve is delicious (and the Kitchen Table’s food is a certain special kind of delicious), but there is a consciousness behind it that serves as a distinct contrast from eating at most chain restaurants. 

For instance, Kitchen Table serves only local, in-season food.  Some of the fantastic cheese, for instance, comes from cows right here in the heartland in farms such as Krista and Doug Dittman’s Branched Oak Farm just north of Lincoln, Nebraska. 

Visiting this 240-acre land helps answer the question I posed above, and for me, a world filled with more farms like Branched Oak is one that I want to live in. 

Here, the organic Jersey herd graze on large plots of land where nutrition and sustainability are in the forefront of the dairy’s mind. 

In talking with Krista Dittman and herd manager Ben Gotschall, it was evident that they care about the animals on the farm and how their dairy is produced. 

So the question for us is: what do we want to support when we visit a restaurant?  Do we want the cheapest food possible, or do we want to support something more substantial?  Something worth believing in?  

During my visit, Dittman explained to me how even the simple act of putting up birdhouses helps increase the biodiversity on her land and she contrasted the birdsong heard on her farm with other’s where the land is, basically, silent – cultivated for one specific purpose above all else.