BATAVIA - The Chautauqua County Farm Bureau will host its sixth annual Pride of Chautauqua event on April 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Chautauqua Suites Meeting & Expo Center in Mayville. This event will showcase some of the area's finest agricultural products, offer hands-on activities for children, feature live cooking and food preparation demonstrations and culminate in a sampling of dishes that include local foods donated by Chautauqua County farmers. Come and celebrate the bounty our local agriculture produces.
There will be activities and presentations all afternoon, including live animal and nursery demonstrations, presentations from the CCE "Master Gardener" Program, and many hands-on kids activities. There will also be a cooking demonstration on "Proper Canning and Preserving" at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Kids - come and start your own garden pot! Look forward to learning new and exciting recipes from the experts to share with your family and friends!
New to the event this year: Shults Auto Group has been added as a sponsor of this year's event. On display will be a new 2013 Chevy pickup truck. The goal is to fill the back of this pickup with non-perishable food items, to be donated to local county food banks and soup kitchens following the event. Get your group or family together and help support this great local cause and fight hunger in Chautauqua County. As a Farm Bureau member, you can receive a $500 rebate on new Chevy trucks at Shults. Stop by the Farm Bureau table at Pride of Chautauqua to learn more about this incentive and many others you can receive as a member.
There will also be a drawing at the end of the event to win a gift basket filled with locally grown and made products.
"We believe that a strong and viable agricultural industry is beneficial to our economy, and also to our local communities," said Karen Barie, Chair of the Pride of Chautauqua Planning Committee and Farm Bureau Vice President. "This event is a way to not only showcase Chautauqua County's agricultural industry, but also to take pride in what this area has to offer - safe, local and convenient access to home grown products. Featured will be growers of local vegetables, fruit, eggs, wine, meat, cheeses, nursery and garden supplies; maple products and bakery items.
A highlight of this event is always the chef prepared food that's created using locally-grown products.
"We thought it was important to show how easy it is to buy local and enjoy local," said Barie. "People need to see that they too can make the exact same thing in their own home."
Local producers will have their products on display to sample and to purchase, and will be on hand to answer questions about their operations in greater detail. Chef Lisa Edgar from the Chautauqua Suites will be creating the day's menu and will be available to share the recipes with you.
According to Barie, the primary benefit of this event is to increase people's knowledge that quality products are available to them in their own backyards and also to encourage support and membership for our local Farm Bureau. "You hear more and more issues every year regarding food safety concerns that affect the health and well being of your family. People are much more aware and conscious of the safety of their foods and where their food was produced. Buying local is the easiest way to secure a safe, known food source for your family, and there is nothing like fresh from the farm taste. More and more Chautauqua County Schools are adding locally grown foods to their school lunch programs, which are cheaper, fresher, and help promote our local economy." If you have eaten today, thank a farmer.
Chautauqua County ranks first in the state for the number of farms and fifth for land in farms. With over 1,500 farms in products, agriculture in our county continues to be a leading industry, with annual sales of a hundred million dollars. It was once said that: "Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation, but the only riches she can call her own." Come see Chautauqua's own riches at the sixth annual PRIDE OF CHAUTAUQUA event.
Thank you to our corporate sponsors of this event: Cargill Animal Nutrition; Grape Belt Heritage Association; Farm Credit East; Wegmans Food Markets; Sam's Club, Laportes Farm Equipment, Inc.; Nationwide Insurance; Z & M Ag and Turf; Shults Auto Group; Grape Grower's Cooperative; Webb's Captains Table Restaurant; Cornell Cooperative Extension; and Frederickson Builders Supply, Inc. We also are truly grateful to all of the local farmers who donate products for our food sampling.
Farm Bureau is a non-governmental, volunteer organization financed and controlled by families for the purpose of solving economic and public policy issues challenging the agriculture industry.