Archive for the ‘Agriculture’ Category

The Results are In…

Monday, August 24th, 2015

The Erie County Fair has wrapped up with a gate attendance of 1,172,635. This fell just shy of the record setting attendance of 1,220,101 that was achieved in 2014.

While the attendance is a number many look for to wrap up the Fair-season, there are many many more results being posted from each of the competitions and livestock shows throughout the grounds.

Those who are interested in finding out if they or someone they know won a Blue Ribbon can find all of our competitive exhibits results here.

Fuel filled excitement more your speed? Then check out the results for the Ultimate Night of Destruction, Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League Truck & Tractor Pull, and World’s Largest Demolition Derby.

Thank you to everyone who competed in the 2015 Erie County Fair! It is that strong spirit of competition that is deeply rooted in the Fair’s traditions.

In just 352 days, let’s do it all over again at the 177th Erie County Fair, August 10-21.

 

Farm 2 Table Educates More than 16,000

Friday, June 19th, 2015

Like most success stories, Farm 2 Table had very humble beginnings. It was an experiment to start. Invite kids  to the The Fairgrounds invited students for a half day field trip that groupwould provide hands on activities that taught about agriculture. The field trip was (and continues to be)  free to schools, including a subsidy for busing. The schedule quickly filled with classes and before anyone knew kids were running through the grounds petting pigs, planting vegetables, measuring horses, and sampling maple syrup. While the days were chilly, and the barns were just that-barns it was quickly apparent that something great was happening!

Kids, many for the first time, were able to come face to face logo-colorwith livestock and receive an age-appropriate understanding of how food and other products start on the farm. Program organizers knew they were on the right track when kids stared in wonder when told chocolate milk did not in fact come from brown cows or when heated debates broke out discussing whether a tomato is a fruit or vegetable!

Those first two weeks were trying but rewarding. 650 students came through and there were plenty of wrinkles to iron out- but the guts were good and the heart of the program was in the right place. So it moved forward growing continually for the next three school years.

At the end of the 2013 Erie County Fair the barns that previously held the Farm 2 Table program were torn down to make way for what would become the largest construction project on the Fairgrounds to date. This meant Farm 2 Table was a bit displaced- but not cancelled. Farm 2 Table 2 Go was born and traveled throughout WNY to classrooms directly. Kids would have a hands-on activity and presentation right at their desk. As the miles rolled on the program saw 6,700 kids that school year.

August 1, 2014 marked the Grand Opening of the Agriculture Discovery Center. The 60,000 square foot building was set to become Farm 2 Table’s new home. With a permanent indoor facility, the program was able to expand. Farm 2 Table was held just two weeks twice a year during those initial years (and even then it was a bit chilly some days). Now with the ADC, the program had the ability to run October-June for the first two weeks of each month. This allowed for 68 days of learning and welcomed 6,500 kids through the doors over the 2014-2015 school year.3

The lessons each month varied from  November’s Thanksgiving on the Farm, to celebrating spring with plants, and capping off the year with National Dairy Month in June. Kids had the opportunity to get up close to livestock, make crafts, sample produce, and so much more!

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Sessions began at 10:00am. Each day had three grade appropriate sessions that involved a presentation followed by a hands-on activity. The day finished with a bagged lunch brought from home. Kids leave Farm 2 Table with a bag full of the activities they completed that day as well as a ticket to visit the Erie County Fair with a parent to continue their agriculture education.

In just 5 years Farm 2 Table (and Farm 2 Table 2 Go) has educated 16,959 students! Sessions, which are still free for schools to participate in, are now being offered to grades K-5. Spaces are already limited for the 2015-2016 school year, but teachers who wish to enroll their class may do so here.

Over the years Farm 2 Table has been proudly produced by the Erie County Agricultural Society, but none of it would be possible without the incredible volunteers. Over the past year 32 volunteers logged more than 1,700 hours. These folks have become as much a part of the program as the name itself and the Fairgrounds is lucky to have such a dedicated core of people who have made Farm 2 Table a true success!

The commitment to agriculture continues this summer with the Grand Opening of Little Hands on the Farm.  This interactive kid-sized farm will give children the opportunity to participate in a variety of “chores” and activities that will teach them about the different facets of farms. At the end of the experience kids will sell their farm products and be able to purchase themselves a snack as payment for all their hard work. While the project will debut at the Fair, Little Hands on the Farm will welcome visiting schools and day cares throughout the year (weather permitting).

 

WNY Farm Show Returns to Fairgrounds

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

 

WNY Farm Show- February 5-7, 2015

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The Fairgrounds in Hamburg will host the 5th Annual WNY Farm Show. This three day event works to bring together some of the region’s best equipment providers and farm services with their customer base of agriculturalists, horticulturalists, and local  farmers. The show will offer seminars, activities for the kids, and concessions as well.

This show is free and open to the public.

The 2015 WNY Farm Show will take place February 5-7. The show will fill two buildings, the Showplex and Agriculture Discovery Center, which are both heated. Show hours are Thursday, February 5 from 9:00am-5:00pm, Friday, February 6 from 9:00am-7:00pm, and Saturday, February 7 from 9:00am-3:00pm.

More than seventy-five exhibitors, some traveling from as far as Iowa, will be offering a range of products and services geared towards all facets of agribusiness. Many of these vendors will be offering Farm Show specials, especially on heave equipment such as tractors, trailers, and combines. (Click here for a complete list of vendors)

Seminars will be scheduled throughout the run of the show. These seminars are free to attend and cover a multitude of topics. This year’s highlights include “Rules and Regulations of the Highway,” which will provide the latest information on hauling trailers

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from livestock to snowmobiles. Past president of the American Angus Association Phil Throwbridge will also be hosting a session “Beef Cattle Bull Selection.” Cabela’s will be teaming up with the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) for a seminar titled “Plotting a Plan for Success.” This talk will explain best practices for setting up food plots when hunting white-tailed deer. The QDMA focuses on safety, conservation, and the health of the environment when discussing hunting practices.

There is something for everyone at the WNY Farm Show, including the kids. The 60,000 square foot Agriculture Discovery Center will be open and full of activities. Kids will have the opportunity to milk a cow by hand using the simulator Milkable Mabel.

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Demonstrations will also be taking place on how cows are milked by robot. The Agriculture Discovery Center is also home to a combine simulator that allows guests to climb up and “drive” through a field of corn. There will also be hands on Ag-tivities for kids that combine learning and fun. This state of the art stalling and educational facility opened in August 2014, and is one of the largest of its kind in the region.

Guests navigating using a GPS should use the address 5600 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg, NY 14075. The gate for entry is located near the stoplight at the intersection of Quinby Drive and McKinley Parkway.

Looking for 2014 Fair Camp Participants

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

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For the sixth season the Erie County Fair will offer 12 lucky 8-10 year olds the opportunity to participate in Fair Camp.

This behind-the-scenes Fair experience will give kids and their same sex parent or guardian the chance to sleep in the barns, care for livestock, show an animal, work with a food vendor, and ride in the parade.

The camp is FREE to participants.

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After the weekend campers and their parent or guardian will come away with a new appreciation for agriculture and livestock. Fair Camp takes place on both weekends of the Fair (August 8-10 and 15-17). There will be hands on activities supervised by our camp counselors, sleeping accommodations provided in the barns for two nights, and plenty of time to explore the Fair outside of the scheduled events.  

be selected as a camper. Parents or guardians can download the application by clicking here or by calling (716) 649-3900 ext. 6407 to have an application mailed to you. Kids who are interested in participating must complete an application and

The application deadline is May 16th!

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Erie County Agricultural Society Receives State Recognition

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

The Erie County Agricultural Society was recognized as an award winner in Ag Promotion from the New York State Agricultural Society (NYSAS) at the 182nd Annual Meeting and AgForum for ag education with the Farm 2 Table program.

The NYSAS initiated the Ag Promotion Award in 2009 to recognize individuals and/or groups for their efforts to improve the understanding of agriculture in their communities. Entries come from across New York State and are judged by a committee. Farm 2 Table is a program that was initially designed back in 2010 for 3rd and 4th graders to learn about various aspects of agriculture and has evolved to be a K-5 agriculture education program. A total of 8,000 students from several urban and suburban school districts have participated in the program and in many instances, this is the students’ first interaction with agriculture, livestock, and their commodities. “We certainly embrace all the promotion of agriculture across the state, however, this program stood out because of its uniqueness and how many the program reaches out to,” stated Barb Hanselman, Committee Chair from the NYSAS. Farmers comprise only one percent of the population in New York State, so it is more important than ever to help people understand modern agriculture.

All NEW Agriculture Discovery Center at the Erie County Fairgrounds

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

The Fairgrounds has Announced Plans for a State of the Art Agriculture Complex

Hamburg, NY-The Board of Directors of the Erie County Agricultural Society has unveiled plans to construct a new 60,000 square foot Agriculture Discovery Center.

The Agriculture Discovery Center will be a state-of-the-art complex which will provide visitors with an opportunity to learn and experience the profound place agriculture has on our daily lives. The facility will host agriculture education programming year round including many interactive exhibits designed to enhance the learning experience.

Preliminary sketches were presented to the members of the Erie County Agricultural Society at its Annual Meeting held on December 12, 2012. Plans will be to incorporate the popular Milkable  Mabel, the Blacksmith Shop and the Milking Parlor into the new complex.

Demolition of the current Ag-Sperience Barn along with Barns 7 and 8 will begin following the 2013 Fair so that the Agriculture Discovery Center can be ready for the 175th Anniversary of the Erie County Fair in August 2014.

Click here for a short video about the Erie County Fair’s past and commitment to the future with plans for the NEW Agriculture Discovery Center.

Western New York Hog Preview Classic At The Fairgrounds

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

The Erie County Agricultural Society, Hamburg Casino and Alltech are proud to present the Western New York Hog Preview Classic on June 2nd and 3rd in the Showplex building on the Fairgrounds in Hamburg, NY.  This is a NJSA recommended show that is open to exhibitors of all ages; this show gives individuals experience prior to showing at their local county and /or state fair.  Showmanship classes will be held on Saturday, June 2nd at 6:00 p.m. and the Market Hog show and Purebred Breeding Gilt show will be Sunday June 3rd at 11:00 a.m. The judge is Daryl Real of Dallas, TX.

The early entry deadline is May 18, 2012.  Late entries will be accepted up until 9a.m. on Sunday, June 3rd.  The show will have a skill-a-thon on Saturday June 2nd which will be followed by a potluck dinner.  A free Pork Quality Assurance certification class will be offered Saturday night following showmanship.

For more information or an entry form please check out our website www.the-fairgrounds.com and click on “Year Round Events” then click on “Livestock”, where an entry form can be downloaded.  You can also call the Fairgrounds at (716) 649-3900 and an entry form can be mailed to you.