Life on the Farm at the Gravenstein Apple Fair

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Life on the Farm at the Gravenstein Apple Fair

Article and photos by Rachel LaFranchi

Published September 1, 2016

Michelle McClure, Sonoma County Farm Bureau's Membership Development and Advertising Coordinator works Farm Bureau's booth at the Gravenstein Apple Fair.

The Gravenstein Apple Fair was held on the second weekend in August drawing an estimated 15,000 guests – 7,000 on Saturday and 8,000 on Sunday. The Apple Fair, started in 1910, is produced by Sonoma County Farm Trails and held at Ragle Ranch Park in Sebastopol.

The Apple Fair promotes the Gravenstein, an apple known for growing in Sonoma County, as well as other varieties of locally grown apples. The fair combines showcasing apples and apple products with live music and entertainment.

Sonoma County Farm Bureau sponsored the Life on The Farm arena where families, children and adults could discover information about farming and see farm animals up close and in person.

Popular demonstrations included cow milking with Jana McClelland from McClelland’s Dairy and sheep shearing with Joe Pozzi and John Sanchez. Other presentations included Living with Llamas, Backyard Chickens and Backyard Goats.
The Life on the Farm stage also hosted a farmer panel each day, with Sunday’s panel talking about the history of Sonoma County agriculture, Farm Trails and how the Gravenstein Apple Fair was started.

Sonoma County Farm Bureau also had a children’s stamping craft booth where people of all ages used apples cut in half to stamp artwork. Sonoma County Farm Bureau passed out promotional materials, copies of the Sonoma-Marin Farm News and talked to fairgoers about agriculture and Farm Bureau.

Sonoma County Farm Bureau promoted the message “Eat Fresh, Buy Local” for the second year in a row. The message is aimed at the general public to encourage them to buy local products and support local farmers and painting agriculture in a positive light.
To promote this message, Sonoma County Farm Bureau passed out free apples to the general public. The apples were all grown in Sonoma County and donated by Dutton Ranch.

Sonoma County Farm Bureau continues to promote all types of agriculture throughout the county as well as educating youth who become increasingly removed from agriculture.

For more information on the Gravenstein Apple Fair visit www.gravensteinapplefair.com.

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