No lions, no tigers, no bears, Oh My! Ag Fes­ti­val cel­e­brates county’s agri­cul­ture, past, present and fu­ture

Walker County Messenger - - Front Page - By Mike O’Neal

The Walker County Ag Fes­ti­val has all the trap­pings of an old-time county fair. The only fair-like things miss­ing from the one-day event will be mid­way rides.

And that is as it should be be­cause the stated pur­pose of the Ag Fest is to “show­case our agri­cul­tural his­tory, agri­cul­tural prod­uct, lo­cal school and community or­ga­ni­za­tion and lo­cal tal­ent.”

While it might sound like a lot to at­tempt for an in­au­gu­ral event, or­ga­niz­ers ex­pect a big turnout for this all-day fes­ti­val that will be held Satur­day, Sept. 30, at the Walker County Ag Cen­ter in Rock Spring.

What prompted this was sev­eral of the ag teach­ers talk­ing about the lack of a fair for stu­dents to have op­por­tu­ni­ties to show their skills, ac­cord­ing to Becky For­rester, agri­cul­ture ed­u­ca­tion teacher and FFA ad­vi­sor at Gordon Lee High School and mem­ber of the fes­ti­val com­mit­tee.

“The county fairs dur­ing the last few years had shown there was an interest in the tra­di­tional fairs,” she said. “This af­fords a chance to have a one-day event that show­cases the county’s stu­dents.”.

For­rester said the or­ga­niz­ers de­cided to fo­cus on “true agri­cul­tural events” be­cause vis­i­tors to the fairs held at Moun­tain Cove Farms “kept in­quir­ing about the an­i­mal dis­plays.”

Joan Fowler, a mem­ber of the fes­ti­val com­mit­tee and on County Com­mis­sioner Shan­non Whit­field’s staff, said or­ga­niz­ers want to not only of­fer stu­dents a show­case for their ef­forts but to re­mind res­i­dents that ours is a ru­ral county.

“We are try­ing to show that agri­cul­ture is not some­thing that only takes place in south Ge­or­gia,” she said.

Fo­cus­ing at­ten­tion on the lo­cal im­por­tance of ag-re­lated in­dus­try was key to plan­ning this year’s fes­ti­val, said Michael Gard­ner, agri­cul­ture teacher at LaFayette High School.

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