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Emcee Dan Meyer delivers the Friend of Agriculture award to Rob Danford. Photo by Marie Freeman

Zero waste: Farm-City Banquet blossoms in its 51st harvest

From staff reports

Approximately 250 people were on hand Thursday evening to honor the Farm-City concept in Watauga County. This year’s 51st annual Farm City Banquet was a “zero-waste” event, with the food purchased at “fair market value” from local farmers – including chicken, potatoes and collard greens. It was all prepared by Jackie Brown of Accidental Bakery in Ashe County.

Sue Counts, director of Watauga County Cooperative Extension said, “We used real china, silverware and glasses, our programs and napkins went into the recycle bins, the table cloths were saved and will be used again and again, and the left-over food was turned into compost. We are very proud of the efforts of our committee in planning this environmentally-friendly event.”

Dedicated to Velma Burnley and Ned Jestes, two long-time friends of Watauga’s farming communities, Watauga County’s 51st Annual Farm-City Banquet event paid tribute to the county’s top farmers, volunteers and others who have made significant contributions to the High Country. Dan Meyer returned as master of ceremonies, assisted by Becky Wallace, chair, and Bunk Spann, co-chair.

Top award winners included the following: Soil and Water Conservation’s Farm Family of the Year was presented to J.D. Norris; Sherrie Norris, Mountain Times staff writer, was named Adult Volunteer of the Year, in addition to receiving the over-all “Excellence in Service Award” in recognition of the contributions she has made in service to her community, county and state; the Youth Volunteerism Award went to Cadet Nick Logel of the Civil Air Patrol; Agri-Tourism Award to Watauga County Farmer’s Market.

The L. E. Tuckwiller Award was presented to the Town of Seven Devils and the Spirit of Farm City Award went to Annie Bryant, ASU graduate student, for her documentary of local barns. Friend of Agriculture-Rob Danford; Woman In Agriculture-Kirby Maram; Youth In Agriculture-Paul Landowne; WCNA Nurseryman of the Year- Lloyd Hicks; WCNA Past President’s Award was given to Simon Smith; Cattlemen’s Award to B.W. Miller, Farm And Food Steward Award to Charles Church; Beekeeper of the Year  Award to Dawn and Keith Laws; and the Beekeeper’s President’s Award to Justin Drake. Cheap Joe’s received the first-ever “Active At Work” Community Award.

For a complete listing of awards, including recycling, community development and beautification, see the Wednesday edition of the Watauga Democrat.


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