In an effort to reach a non-agricultural audience, the “Alachua County Farm Bureau Food and Agriculture Festival” was held on Saturday, November 23rd 2019. This event was planned by the District 4 Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers program in collaboration with the Women’s program and the Cade Museum.
The vision of the event was to engage with a non-agricultural audience and educate them on the importance agriculture plays at the local, state and national level.
It was held during Alachua County’s Farm City Week and the Cade Museum featured displays that highlighted “The Science of Food”. The museum also featured an inventor who spent their entire career working in the field of agriculture. The inventor displayed 28 United States patents that he obtained during his 47 years working for an agricultural irrigation company.
The entry fee to the museum was waived for the day and outside of the museum there were twenty-seven booths displaying and selling local commodities with hands-on learning activities. The booths were made up of local producers, local business owners, UF/IFAS Extension agents, Florida A&M University students, UF collegiate clubs, the Florida Cattlewomen’s Association, and other state agencies representing agriculture and food production.
There were also four food trucks present that provided information about the production of the major commodities used to make their food. Support for this event was provided by Florida Dairy Farmers Inc,, Lussier Dairy, Alliance Dairy, Florida Farm Credit, Florida Blue Farms, Hawthorne Creek Creamery, Gatorland Kubota, Nutrien, Florida Farm Bureau and the Florida Peanut Federation. Throughout the day, 1,650 people attended the event and received educational information on agriculture and food production. This broke the Cade Museum’s single day attendance record! This was the first year that this festival was held but will likely become an annual event based on its success.