In previous years, the Fauquier Schooling Farm held an annual fundraising occasion at Moriah Farms, throughout Meetze Street from the farm; the occasion featured a menu with elements harvested from the farm. Confronted with a pandemic, the farm’s board members have been decided to rethink their occasion. They created a Fall Pageant for 2020 that appealed to farm supporters of all ages.
“With out query, 2020 has been a ‘pivot and regroup’ yr. When it grew to become clear that our conventional dinner and public sale fundraiser that so many get pleasure from was not going to be potential this yr, the FEF board was fast to look outdoors the field to create a enjoyable, protected occasion that the neighborhood may get pleasure from,” stated FEF board chair Rebecca Webert.
“I’m extraordinarily happy with all of the work our fundraising committee and whole board put in and am extremely grateful for the assist that our neighborhood and sponsors confirmed. All of this can enable the farm to proceed to supply academic alternatives and meals to our native neighborhood within the coming yr,” she added.
“The farm believes in supporting the local people, that in flip helps them,” stated Natalie Ortiz, FEF fundraising committee chair. To this finish, the occasion featured a lot of native agriculture companies together with: Poultry Venture; Livestock Present and Sale from the Fauquier 4-H; Fauquier Reaches for Excellence in Faculty Well being; Agritech, LLC, which applies revolutionary technological options to agriculture, and Virginia Tech, which provided an illustration on synthetic insemination with a part of a cow’s reproductive tract.
All of the meals and beverage elements have been procured from native farms and meals makers together with apples and cider from Williams Orchard; Mad Magic Kombucha on faucet; Pleased Household Ranch sausage; Freed’s Biscuit Firm mini biscuits; Unhealthy Ass Pickles dill pickle chips, and Blue Ridge Baking Firm cookies. “Even pumpkins on the pumpkin adorning station have been bought from an area vendor, Seventh Heaven Farms,” stated Ortiz.
Faculty Board consultant Stephanie Litter-Reber was invited to take photographs on the occasion. “That is actually a Fauquier County hidden gem. The FEF Fall Pageant had just a little little bit of all the things. Whereas I loved strolling round and looking out on the spectacular crops within the discipline and sampling the meals and drinks (and sizzling sauce!) of Fauquier County – my youngsters have been enormous followers of the dwell animal shows, the drone show and the bovine IVF demonstration,” she stated.
“Any motive to placed on gloves and get hands-on with science is all the time a success — and the bovine sales space didn’t disappoint,” Litter-Reber added.
Warrenton locals Dustin and Brittany White have been leasing land on the Fauquier Schooling Farm as a part of the incubator program since spring. They have been launched to this system after they took the Starting Farmer Course, provided by the farm every winter.
The couple represented the incubator program in the course of the competition. “A lot of the questions friends requested centered round our new added-value merchandise, sizzling sauces and jellies. We had a pair questions in regards to the incubator space when prospects requested the place we farmed,” stated Dustin White.
The incubator program provides real-world expertise with small-scale farming to people who’re prepared to start out business vegetable or reduce flower manufacturing however don’t personal land and gear. This system’s objective is to allow new farmers to determine expertise and credibility that they’ll use in looking for different land leasing or buy choices. An additional objective is to assist these people make extra absolutely knowledgeable choices about their business farming plans.
Brittany White stated, “The farm is an especially worthwhile asset to this neighborhood, contributing tons of meals to native meals banks and educating many starting farmers like us on the very best practices in farming.”
Dustin White added, “Jim [Hankins, the farm’s executive director] is a strolling encyclopedia of farming data and has been an incredible assist to us; we had no concept the place to get began in business farming firstly of the yr.”
Allegro Neighborhood Faculty of the Arts punctuated the day with music. Allegro board member and musician Scott Gookin was invited by Natalie Ortiz to play nation and rock music on the occasion. The occasion additionally featured Uncle Drew and the Scoundrels enjoying traditional rock.
“Music all the time brings the neighborhood collectively. We get pleasure from working with different organizations that work so laborious for our neighborhood,” stated Allegro co-founder Lachelle Yoder.
In accordance with Litter-Reber, “One of the best half was [that] the proceeds all return to the farm in order that they’ll proceed to show others the rewards and advantages of farming and hold our neighborhood recent and wholesome produce!”
For the farm’s director, the competition was an enormous success. “Among the finest issues in regards to the competition was that it reached a very good variety of households that have been new to the Schooling Farm and weren’t conversant in our packages. I absolutely count on to see lots of them once more,” stated Hankins. “It was a monetary success as a result of outpouring of assist from sponsors – the occasion raised $26,000 — however it was additionally an outreach success in a really significant method,” he added.
The funds will go into the farm’s common operations price range, which is used to satisfy the mission of training that ends in the donation of produce to our space’s meals banks. “The farm has donated about 30 tons of meals yr up to now,” stated Ortiz.
“We wish to thank the native companies that sponsored this occasion: Nation Chevrolet, Warrenton; The Robert Duvall Kids’s Fund; Orange County Hound Basis; Piedmont Environmental Council; Residents for Fauquier; Tri-County Feeds, Style, & Finds; DCMI; and Updegrove, McDaniel, McMullen & Chicchitto. Our in-kind sponsors included Pink Truck Bakery and Blue Ridge Baking Firm,” stated Ortiz.
The Fauquier Schooling Farm exists to advance agriculture and agriculture-related training by way of best-method demonstrations, classroom instruction, on-farm workshops, and hands-on studying. The farm helps the neighborhood by contributing all of its agricultural merchandise to native meals banks and by offering richly rewarding volunteer alternatives.
To study extra or to make a donation to the Fauquier Schooling Farm, go to www.fauquiereducationfarm.org.
— to www.fauquier.com