The NW Washington Fairgrounds was bustling this last Saturday as around 400 people enjoyed the 6th annual Whatcom Farm Expo in the new Farm Pavilion Building. Over 40 exhibitors demonstrated the latest agricultural innovations, products, and services. After two years of virtual content, the opportunity to meet in person was celebrated. Even though it was one of few sunny days in April, farmers left their fields to network and learn about local resources in the community! Visitors engaged with exhibitors and other farmers over new resources to improve and expand crop productivity, animal health, pasture quality, and homesteading happiness.
“What a fun and powerful event you and your team put together. Thanks to all of you for organizing it. It was so well run. Everyone was taking their time going from table to table. We had many good conversations and ended up with 4 good contacts!” – Whatcom Farm Expo Exhibitor
Key highlights included talks every thirty minutes by ten local and talented speakers. Topics spanned from maximizing foraging potential, to Asian giant hornets, to pastured poultry, designing a water resilient landscape, and bringing your horse home. The keynote panel of local farmers focused on starting and nurturing a successful farm business. Whatcom County’s Executive, Satpal Singh Sidhu gave a short talk before the keynote panel. If you missed any of these talks, we have recordings on our website.
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Thank you to our Cultivator Sponsors: Elenbaas Company, Scratch and Peck Feeds, Sustainable Connections, Washington State Department of Agriculture Produce Safety Program, and Whatcom Family Farmers
Thank you to all our speakers: Molly McDaniel, Cat Seih of Legacy Lamb, Cassie Cichorz of Washington State Department of Agriculture, Stephen King, Brian Kerkvliet of Inspiration Farm, Katie Penke of Alluvial Farms, Marie Hegarty of Fair Cow’s Path Farm, Elizabeth Hayes of Cloud Mountain Farm Center, Allison Trimble of Coastal Realty, and Aneka Sweeney of Whatcom CD
Participants remarked that they will likely use the information they gathered to improve their farm management, inform their future farm development and to better understand the variety of resources available in Whatcom County to manage their property and fund their dreams. Pasture management and natural resource protection were the most relevant concepts gleaned by visitors. Overwhelmingly the feel was of gratitude, for being together, for the coming of spring, and for the many resources shared.
Quotes from the event evaluations included:
“So amazing, so glad I came!”
“Everyone was so helpful!”
“Very helpful. Keep doing what you're doing! Thank you!”
Thank you to all our exhibitors: 4-H, Cloud Mountain Farm Center, Coastal Realty, Department of Ecology, Ecotech Solar, Elenbaas Company, Fair Cow's Path Farm, Friends of Sunset Farm, Farm Service Agency, Inspiration Farm, Life Tastes Good, Lynden Farmers Market, Lynden Library, Mt Baker Beekeepers Association, Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, Scratch & Peck Feed, Skagit Animals in Need, Skagit Farmers Supply, Sustainable Connections, Washington State Department of Agriculture- Asian Giant Hornets, Washington State Department of Agriculture- Produce Safety Program, Westside Building Supply, Whatcom Backcountry Horsemen, Whatcom Cattlemen’s Association, Whatcom Conservation District, Whatcom County Farm Bureau, Whatcom County Health Department, Whatcom County Noxious Weed Program, Whatcom County Planning & Development Services, Whatcom County Public Works, Whatcom Family Farmers, Whatcom Land Trust, WSU Whatcom Extension, WSU Extension- Farm Stress Outreach