Farm City looks to promote agriculture

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Farm-City Committee of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce met Tuesday with a rather long agenda, which is the usual for this time of year.

Committee Chair Randy Hale focused on Farm-City Week events and activities the Committee will present and promote during the week of Nov. 21-27.

The highlight of Pike County Farm-City Week will be the Farm-City Banquet and the recognition of the members of the farming community that have made outstanding contributions to agriculture in the year 2014.

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Hale said awards will be presented to recipients in both the farm and city communities.

“The city needs the products that are produced on the farm and the farmers need products made in the urban areas,” Hale said. “We need each other.”

The annual highlight events of the Pike County Farm-City Committee include the Farm-City Swap, the poster/multimedia/essay contest, mini farms, booth at the Pike County Fair, Farm-City tours, participation in the Peanut Butter Festival and support of the Ag Academy in Goshen.

“We want to get the message out about the role that agriculture plays in Pike County and about Farm-City Week and its importance to all of us,” Hale said. “One way to do that is through the news media and by committee members who will volunteer to speak at clubs and organizations about agriculture and the farm-city connection.”

Hale said John and Carol Dorrill will head the search for Pike County Century and Heritage Farm nominations.

“Time is close for these nominations,” Hale said. “A Century Farm is one that has been in continuous operation for 100 years or more. A Heritage Farm has structures on the grounds that are 50 years or older.”

Hale reported that, at the State Farm-City Awards Program in the spring, he was impressed by the innovative projects that were presented.

Over the years, the Pike County Farm-City Committee has received many state awards in its classification but, Hale said, times are changing and the Committee needs to consider that when planning our programs.

“Most of the people in Birmingham were younger than some of us are. This is a new generation of Farm-City people and we need to start thinking like we’re 40 years old,” Hale said, laughing. “We need to think in creative and innovate ways when planning our programs.”

He pointed to School Farm Day in September, which will be headed by committee member Jessica Morris, as an innovative way for children to learn about farm life.

“We’ll transport all of the third-graders in the county to Cattleman Park for School Farm Day,” Morris said. “They will learn about farming in today’s world. They will get to see farm equipment and learn how it’s used on the farm. We’ll have farm animals for them to see up close and learn about their place on the farm.”

Morris said the students will be in small groups and move from station to station throughout the morning. At each station, about 10 of them, the students will spend about 10 minutes learning where their food and fiber come from and about those who produce it.

The Farm-City Committee will play a role in the School Farm Day as volunteers and, perhaps, provide funding if needed.

The Farm-City Committee is also involved in two other countywide school day events, A Day in the Forest for fifth graders and the Ground Water Festival for fourth graders.

Hale challenged the committee members to think creatively and discover new events the committee could sponsor or innovative ways to present the committee’s tried and true events.