Lahammer started her relationship with Minnesota Cooks as a celebrity taster at the fair. She is now the host of the fair show and said she is hoping to do more road trip shows after the one featuring River Rock Coffee airs.
Minnesota Cooks is an educational outreach program for the Minnesota Farmers Union. Its staff educates the public about local farmers, the benefits of locally grown foods and the businesses that use those farm products.
"We're trying to show people locally grown food that can be produced in simple and easy ways in restaurants and regular kitchens," said Bruce Miller, Minnesota Cooks statewide director. "I'm hoping people come to a better understanding that Minnesota grown and locally grown foods are an important part of keeping family farms alive in Minnesota."
Marchan and her husband, Adam Ellefson, were featured in last year's Minnesota Cooks calendar along with Bertram and Rasmussen. All four were also at the fair last year, showing a crowd how to cook a favorite dish. That led to the selection of Living Land Farm and River Rock Coffee for the second road trip show, Miller said.
The local farmers and cooks were at last year's fair because River Rock Coffee is one of Miller's favorite places to stop for lunch when he's traveling to Mankato for meetings with the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and other farm organizations.
Bertram has focused on using Minnesota grown products since she opened River Rock Coffee 12 years ago. She said local food is healthier and better tasting because it doesn't spend days or weeks being hauled across the country in a semi trailer. The attention her cafe has gained through the fair and television shows has helped her get that message out both locally and throughout the state.