Farmers to promote their industry

February 24, 1994|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Sun Staff Writer

Agriculture is still one of the largest industries in Carroll County, and local farmers plan to prove it this weekend.

For the seventh year, more than 50 county agricultural organizations are setting up exhibits and demonstrations tomorrow and Saturday at Cranberry Mall in Westminster during Ag Days.

"We want to see that agriculture remains a viable industry in the area," said Holly Fleming, who is organizing this year's event.

In light of complaints and nuisance suits from neighbors who don't understand agriculture, farming may not remain as viable, she said.

"Hopefully, this [Ag Days] will help people to think of agriculture differently," Ms. Fleming said. "Farmers do the least best job of promoting themselves. They're starting to realize how important it is to their survival."

Ag Days festivities, scheduled from the mall's opening to its closing on both days, include favorites such as the ice cream churning contest and the children's tractor pull, with pedal-powered vehicles.

Exhibitors will include farming associations and breeder groups, animal-oriented 4-H clubs, and several state agencies, such as the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Natural Resources' forestry board.

Agriculture-related businesses are also expected to participate.

Exhibitors are not charged a fee to participate.

"That way, anyone who wants to participate is able to," said Ms. Fleming. Among the new events this year are a place-mat contest, sponsored by the Carroll County Farm Bureau, and a photo contest.

The winner of the place-mat contest will have his or her entry reproduced and distributed at Farm Bureau functions. The contest garnered 20 entries, said the bureau's secretary, Sharon Fritz.

"I'm really impressed with all the talent out there," Ms. Fritz said, adding that entries were received from adults and teen-agers.

Farm Bureau members will narrow the place-mat selection to 10, and Ag Days visitors will be able to vote by placing coins in the box representing their favorite entry. All money collected will be donated to Carroll County Food Sunday, Ms. Fritz said.

In the photo contest, all entries must relate to the theme "Carroll County Agriculture: Providing for Future Generations."

Entries will be judged by the Carroll County Camera Club, and winners will receive gifts from Myers' 140 Photo, cash or ribbons, said Glenn Shirley, contest organizer.

"We're gearing this toward people who already have pictures that would be suitable for this contest," he said. "We're hoping people will just pull [the picture] off the wall and bring it in."

Mr. Shirley, who completed photography projects as a teen-ager in 4-H, won Grand Champion for his pictures at the 1977 Carroll County 4-H fair.

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