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Agriculture Day connects farmers with community

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Participants:
Allen County Purdue Extension Office
Allen County Soil and Water, Watershed Project
Allen County Solid Waste
Atom Acres
Bees and Carrots
Big Brick House Bakery
CANI
Cisco seed
Community Harvest Food Bank
E&R Seed
Foelinger Frieman Botanical Conservatory
Get Fresh Farms
Graber Organic Farms
Hoagland Masterhood Neighborhood Association
Ivy Tech Ag Department
Liquid Farms
Parkview Hospital
Plowshares
St. Joseph Community Health
Three Rivers Co-Op
Urban Growth
Wells Fargo
Young Urban Homesteaders

What is National Ag Day?
The National Ag Day program was started in 1973 by the Agriculture Council of America (ACA), an organization uniquely composed of leaders in the agriculture, food and fiber communities, dedicated to increasing the public awareness of agriculture's vital role in our society. To learn more about National Agriculture Day, visit the website at www.agday.org.

What is Bees and Carrots?
Bees and Carrots is virtual a gathering spot for northeast Indiana growers and eaters. Sharing knowledge and experience creates an online hub where folks can do the following: find a community garden plot, connect the community to local growers, find volunteer experience at a farm or share photos, creations and ideas for garden plots. For more information on Bees and Carrots visit the website at www.beesandcarrots.com/ or the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Bees-and-Carrots/526476270758856.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 8:59 am

More than 65 Fort Wayne farmers, gardeners and community members gathered Tuesday for National Agriculture Day at Liquid Farms, 8631 US 27 S., to recognize and celebrate the contributions of local agriculture.

Holly Challie organized the event through her community garden website Bees and Carrots, which launched in December. The goal of the website is to help spur the growth of urban gardening and local foods grown in northeast Indiana while ensuring that growers and community members have a consistent and constant line of communication.

Agriculture today is different than your grandma's agriculture. Agriculture has taken a turn from corporate farming, or “big ag,” to small-town business with local growers.

Challie has been gardening all her life. Today she serves as an Advanced Master Gardener at the Purdue Extension office on the IPFW campus and studies holistic gardening as therapy.

While looking to keep local momentum going in the “off season,” she thought this winter would be a perfect opportunity to find ways to connect farmers and community members and make sure no food goes to waste.

“Last year, we saw a common problem. Growers have an abundance of food and not enough consumers. Then you have food deserts where you have a lot of hungry people lacking fresh food. This is a connecting spot for everyone in the local food movement to lift the community up together. Then we are all working toward the same goal,” she said.

She said that the public response and the success of the Ag Day event proves that the Fort Wayne food movement no longer works in silos of separation.

What started as a winter project for a cabin-fevered gardener has now turned into a resource for the local Fort Wayne food moment.