MAYVILLE - The Chautauqua Farm Bureau is hosting an event the whole family can enjoy.
Sunday from 1-4 p.m. at the Chautauqua Suites in Mayville, the bureau will host the sixth annual "Pride of Chautauqua" farming event. 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.
"We believe that a strong and viable agricultural industry is beneficial to our economy, and also to our local communities," said Karen Barie, Pride of Chautauqua Planning Committee chair 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, and nursery and garden supplies, as well as maple products and bakery items."
Kinsey Witherow, a Chautauqua County 4-H youth member, is pictured with her show rabbit during “Pride Of Chautauqua” 2012.
P-J photo by Ryan Atkins
There will be activities and presentations all afternoon, including live animal and nursery demonstrations, presentations from the Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program, and many hands-on activities for children. There will also be a cooking demonstration on proper canning and preserving at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Children will have the opportunity to start their own garden pots, and home chefs will have the opportunity to learn new recipes from expert chefs.
"We thought it was important to show how easy it is to buy local and enjoy local," said Barie of the cooking exhibit. "People need to see that they too can make the exact same thing in their own home (from local produce)."
Local growers will have their products on display to sample and purchase, and will be on hand to answer questions about their operations.
Chef Lisa Edgar from the Chautauqua Suites will be creating the menu and will be available to share recipes.
NEW TO THIS YEAR'S EVENT
New to this year's event is the addition of Shults Auto Group as a sponsor.
"We are excited to add Shults Auto Group as a sponsor of this year's event," said Barie. "There will be a brand new 2013 Chevy pickup truck on display, and our goal is to fill the back of it with nonperishable food items. We will then donate everything raised to local county food banks and soup kitchens following the event."
Barie wants to remind everyone that hunger still exists right here in Chautauqua County, and every donation will go toward helping to eradicate it from our area.
As a way of saying thank you, Shults is offering a $500 rebate for Farm Bureau members on new Chevy trucks at the dealership.
For more information on this incentive, as well as other incentives available for Farm Bureau members, stop by the bureau's table at the event.
Additionally, there will be a drawing at the end of the event to win a gift basket filled with locally grown and made products.
According to Barie, the primary benefit of the 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 Chautauqua County's 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," said Barie. "People are much more aware and conscious of the safety of their food and where their food is being 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 promote our local economy. Bottom line, if you have eaten today, thank a farmer."
According to Barie, Chautauqua County ranks first in the state for the number of farms and fifth for land in farms.
"With over 1,500 farms, agriculture in our county continues to be a leading industry, with annual sales of $100 million," said Barie. "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."
Sponsors for the event include: Cargill Animal Nutrition, Grape Belt Heritage Association, Farm Credit East, Wegman's Food Markets, Sam's Club, Laportes Farm Equipment Inc., Nationwide Insurance, Z and M Ag and Turf, Shults Auto Group, Grape Grower's Cooperative, Webb's Captains Table Restaurant, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Frederickson Builder's Supply Inc., and all of the local farmers who donate products for food sampling at the event.
For more information, contact the Chautauqua Suites at 269-7829.