By Madison Fisler Lewis
Oct. 23, 2014. The 59th annual Farm-City Banquet will be held once again at the Boone United Methodist Church on Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. “Barns: Out Standing in Their Field,” is the theme for the 2014 Farm City Banquet, which is a celebration of locally produced farm products and farmers, food, entrepreneurs and supporters of local farms by the Watauga County Cooperative Extension Center and the community.
“This is really an opportunity to bring together the rural and the urban communities, the farmers and the businesses and individuals that support them,” said Jim Hamilton, county extension director at the Watauga County Cooperative Extension.
But the event is much more than just a delicious, local supper. The event also serves as a platform for the recognition of individuals for their support and growth of the local agricultural economy. The recipients are chosen from those nominated by members of the public who have made a “positive impact on youth, agriculture and the community.”
“We recognize members of the community from the agricultural side and the service side, that are unsung heroes that really make a big difference in our community,” Hamilton said.
Awards will be given in the following categories:
- Friend of Agriculture: Given to an individual or business that has made significant contributions to local agriculture
- Woman in Agriculture: Awarded to a woman who has made significant contributions to local agriculture.
- Youth in Agriculture: Given to a youth who has made significant contributions to agriculture.
- Agri-Tourism Award: Given in honor of Pauline and Constantine Alimanestiano, this award is awarded to an outstanding individual or business involved in attracting visitors to farm operations such as pick-your-own, wineries, Christmas tree farms, herb farms, greenhouses and farm stands.
- Community Volunteer Award: This is awarded to an individual who has exemplified the spirit of volunteerism in the community.
- Farm and Food Steward Award: This award is given by the High Country Chapter of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association to an individual or organization in recognition of their contributions to maintaining southern Appalachia’s tradition of food independence and to building a local food system through economic, environmental and socially-sustainable agricultural practices.
- T.E. Tuckwiller Award: Recognizing a town or community for the outstanding efforts in community development. This award is sponsored by the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce.
- Spirit of Farm City Award: A special award recognizing an individual or organization whose actions embody the spirit of agriculture in the county as well as the mission of the Farm City Banquet.
In addition to the awards and the dinner, the banquet will be emceed by Dan Meyer of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce and will also offer door prizes. Prizes will include local items such as honey, a ham from Goodnight Brothers, produce, and gift cards for local businesses.
This event typically sells out every year, so be sure to get your tickets in advance. Tickets for the event are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12. Children five and under are admitted to the event for free. Tickets are available for purchase at the Cooperative Extension Office located at 971 W. King St. in Boone.
“We usually sell out of tickets a week before the banquet,” Hamilton said. “We strongly encourage people to buy their tickets as soon as possible to make sure they get a spot.”
This years sponsors include Southern Agriculture, Bare Essentials Natural Market, Carolina Farm Credit, New River Building Supply, Watauga County Cattleman Association, Watauga County Christmas Tree Association, Bandana’s and Hollering Green.
For more information about this event, contact the Watauga County Cooperative Extension at 828-264-3061.