On August 8th and 9th, Sonoma County Farm Bureau attended the Gravenstein Apple Fair at Ragle Ranch Park in Sebastopol.
The Gravenstein Apple Fair is put on by Sonoma County Farm Trails and showcases apples grown in Sonoma County as well as all types of apple products from pies and fritters to jams and caramel apples. The fair was family-oriented with a hay-maze for children, numerous crafts and a Life on the Farm Area.
The Sonoma County Farm Bureau sponsored the Life on the Farm area. In this area, children had the opportunity to learn about milking cows, shearing sheep, raising goats or chickens, llamas, beekeeping and more. The Life on the Farm area also featured a panel of farmers with Farm Bureau members such as Paul Kaiser and Rick Williams participating.
The Sonoma County Farm Bureau chose to sponsor the Life on the Farm Area to become more engaged and involved in the community and reach people outside of the normal agriculture audience. Sponsorship at the fair gave the Farm Bureau a greater presence in west Sonoma County.
At the fair, the Sonoma County Farm Bureau promoted supporting local farmers with the motto “Eat Fresh! Buy Local!” The message was a success, and the Sonoma County Farm Bureau passed out free gravenstein apples. With apples locally grown at Dutton Ranch, Farm Bureau aimed to expand education about local products.
In addition to promoting eating fresh and buying local, the Sonoma County Farm Bureau booth included an apple craft. Children had the opportunity to use cut apples dipped in paint to stamp designs. The craft was popular with younger children and parents throughout the fair and had people of all ages participating.
It is important to the Sonoma County Farm Bureau to continue to educate youth, particularly as younger generations become more removed from agriculture.
Farm Bureau members with booths at the fair included Dutton Ranch, Kozlowski Farms, Devoto Gardens and McClelland Dairy.