2018-08-29 / Front Page

Bovina Farm Day is SUNDAY

Farm, families, food and fun.....

By Eddie Donoghue

Scarecrows and sheep, apple pie and cows, hay bales and music and a host of other activities are expected to draw up to 2,000 residents and visitors to Bovina Farm Day on Sunday, Sept. 2.  Now celebrating its 10th year,  the biggest celebration of farming outside the county fair has become an area tradition that recognizes the importance and vitality of local farming culture.

There would be no Bovina Farm Day however, if it weren’t for the effort of the Webers and the Stewart-Barnharts, who started the tradition back in the spring of 2008. One of the event’s pioneers is Donna Weber, who let the News in on how it all began. Weber gave much of the credit behind the idea to Evelyn Stewart-Barnhart, saying, “Evelyn came to me and said she had this idea to kind of bring the community together. Bring the people who were just moving up here to meet the farmers in the town. Between the two families, we discussed it and we decided it was worth a try.”

Stewart-Barnhart talked to the News about how she wanted to create a one-day event which would allow farmers to sell their products but added, “At the same time, we picked Labor Day weekend so that the second home owners could have something to do on the weekend.”

The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on a10-acre piece of the Weber’s property on Crescent Valley Road. The event is the perfect opportunity to meet local farmers and to taste and purchase the food they produce. There are plenty of educational opportunities at Bovina Farm Day where guests can partake in cooking demos, dairy farm tours and a sheep herding demo. Greenane Farms will be on hand with food as well as BBQ Nick and the Buffalo Chick’s Smoke Shack. Bovina’s own Fosterbuilt Coffee will also be at Bovina Farm Day helping keep everyone’s energy levels up. Other highlights include a scarecrow contest, an apple pie contest, hayrides, games and a corn maze.

Bovina was in the midst of turmoil 10 years ago when the two families decided to make the effort to organize the event, in part because of the divisiveness.

“There was a lot of discension in the town at the time. They were going to put wind turbines in and the town was 100% against it. There was a lot of tension. We thought maybe if we had something fun up in the valley,” she said, “it would help.”  Weber’s expectations of the turnout that first year were modest; but she and the other organizers were pleasantly surprised by a strong showing.

“That first year, we thought we’d get 100 people and we got 500 people and that was really surprising to us. From then on, it kept getting bigger.”

According to Weber, at Bovina Farm Day three years ago, there were around 1200 visitors. Two years ago, there were 1500 visitors. Last year saw a decline in numbers as it poured rain throughout the day—even then 800 people attended the event.

As the children of the two families grow up and move out of Bovina, Bovina Farm Day has received help from the group Farming Bovina. The group, Weber says, makes putting together the event much more feasible. Much of the work still falls on the shoulders of Donna and her husband Ed, with Donna saying, “It’s still a ton of work for me and my husband.”

In addition to lending their land to the event, Ed and Donna also use their tractor, pickup truck and generator to help make the event all that it is. The two even produce the corn used in the corn maze. It’s all worth it though, as the day highlights what’s truly important to them.

“I think that the farmers are so appreciative of us having it so they can sell the cheeses or the milk. It’s really one-on-one with the general public. I think it means more to the people selling and I think it means more to the people buying. And that it gets bigger and bigger means that people like to come,” she said.

 

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