Thursday, August 13, 2015

Alaska Ag Appreciation Day draws big crowd

Alaska Agriculture Appreciation Day at the Matanuska Experiment Farm was a resounding success.

Digging for potatoes proved to be a popular pastime at
Ag Appreciation Day. Steve Brown photos
Coordinator Theresa Isaac estimated that more than 1,500 people attended on Aug. 6, tying a previous record. An ABC Anchorage television station interviewed Isaac and provided a short story about the day’s activities in Palmer.  See the newsclip.

One of the most popular activities involved kids digging for potatoes and harvesting lettuce in garden patches planted for the occasion. Other well-received activities included goat milking and the hayrides, which had long lines. Canine demonstrations from Mat+SAR K9 also drew big crowds. Representatives from the search-and-rescue organization chose someone from the audience to hide and the dog demonstrated searching skills by finding the person.

Many attendees complimented staff on the event, which promoted an appreciation of and knowledge about local foods and agriculture. One attendee called up a day later to say she learned a lot about soils from Bob Van Veldhuizen and intended to start a farm in Bristol Bay. Another person told Isaac it was a great combination of learning and fun.

“That’s exactly what we were striving for,” she said.

A participant at Ag Appreciation Day models a rhubarb leaf.

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