SUN PEAKS - British Columbian families will learn more about B.C.'s farmers and food producers as a result of $75,000 the Ministry of Agriculture is providing to the B.C. Association of Agricultural Fairs and Exhibitions, said Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger.
"A fair's strongest legacy can be the connections developed between shoppers and farmers," said Krueger. "British Columbians are very keen to learn how our food reaches our tables, and fairs are often the place where conversations and enthusiasm for local agriculture begins."
The funding promotes B.C. agriculture and food at local fairs and supports the implementation of the association's five-year strategic plan. Krueger made the announcement at the association's annual general meeting in Sun Peaks on Oct. 22, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Don McRae.
"Agricultural fairs introduce British Columbians in small and large communities to producers and processors, emphasize the health benefits of buying local, and cast a spotlight on the opportunities agriculture presents," said McRae. "A trip to a fall or summer fair can be the inspiration for a young British Columbian to join the 61,000 employees who work in B.C.'s agri-food sector, to become engaged in farming and pave the way for them to become a leader among the next generation of producers."
The B.C. Association of Agricultural Fairs and Exhibitions is a non-profit organization with 48 member fairs and exhibitions. The fairs and exhibitions boost local economies, build awareness of agriculture and offer families a day of fun, community, agricultural learning and entertainment. About 1.6 million people have visited B.C. fairs in 2011.
"The strongest impact that fairs provide are the wonderful lasting memories for all their guests, including families and young generations as they experience the touch, smell and full connection to B.C. agriculture in their lives," said B.C. Association of Agricultural Fairs and Exhibitions president Leah North Hryko. "B.C.'s fairs provide unique entertaining educational experiences that have a long-lasting impact, thus the longevity of agricultural fairs."
The fairs showcase B.C. as Canada's most diverse agricultural province with over 200 commodities and cast a spotlight on British Columbia's agri-food industry, which generates close to $9.6 billion in economic activity annually.
Ministry of Agriculture
B.C. Association of Agricultural Fairs and Exhibitions