California's 31st Agricultural District, aka the Ventura County Fair
California's 31st Agricultural District, aka the Ventura County Fair, is May's pick for VictoryGrower Salutes.
For those not familiar with California, the agricultural districts report to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Fairs and Expositions Division. Part of their mission is to promote agriculture in the communities that they serve.
The 31st Agricultural District, aka the Ventura County Fair, has taken that mission seriously. VictoryGrower particularly salutes the Fair's commitment to educating youth about agriculture and gardening. This year's fair guide features two new innovative divisions for youth entries: How Does Your Garden Grow, and an Ag Entrepreneur project for older youth. This is in addition to the Kids, Cameras and Crops Photography Contest in the Agricultural Building, which the Fair co-sponsors with UC. The Fair also has a robust youth horticultural component, and an outreach program called Uncle Leo's Barnyard, which has been provided by the Vanoni family for decades. The Youth Building often hosts gardening activities on the Fair's Youth Day.
It's difficult to single one individual out when so many of the Fair's building superintendents and staff have promoted an appreciation of agriculture and gardening among the thousands of youth they serve each year. It's been a long-standing commitment, and credit goes to many.
If you're in Ventura County this summer, check out one of the best county fairs in a state that does them up right. "A country fair with fresh ocean air" is a slogan oft-used by the 31st Agricultural District. Another slogan could be "an institution that promotes agriculture and gardening to youth, so that they understand the importance of them in their daily lives." Not as catchy, but oh-so-important!