Natural Resources
September 30, 2008

2008 Agrifoods and Garden Show will Highlight Growing Industry

Western Newfoundlandís agricultural industry will be the featured attraction during the 2008 Agrifoods and Garden Show being held October 3-5 in Corner Brook.

"The 2008 Agrifoods and Garden Show will promote the provinceís agriculture and agrifoods industry, and provide producers with another venue in which they can showcase their products and services," said the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister Responsible for the Forestry and Agrifoods Agency. "The industry is growing steadily every year. Events like this one demonstrate our commitment to its continued expansion and diversification."

The 2008 Agrifoods and Garden Show will be held at the Pepsi Centre. The event was introduced in 1998 and attracts thousands of visitors eager to see what the vibrant and flourishing agriculture and agrifoods industry has to offer. All industry sectors will be represented, including the chicken, milk and egg commodity boards. Visitors will get a first-hand look at the high-quality products being harvested at farms located in Codroy Valley, the Humber Valley, Bay St. George, and Bay of Islands.

More than 3,000 school children in western Newfoundland will receive free passes to the show, compliments of the Department of Natural Resources. A farmerís market is one of the main attractions, featuring 12 exhibits modeled after the 1950s-style general store. A special student exhibit, titled Get the Picture, is comprised of 10 illustrations that examine the challenges of growing crops.

Visitors will have the opportunity to sample and purchase fresh produce. They can learn more about farm animals at the petting farm, and handle sea creatures at the touch tank provided by the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture. Demonstrations on food preparation will be ongoing, and professionals will be on hand to provide tips about growing vegetables.

"The 2008 Agrifoods and Garden Show is a wonderful opportunity for farmers to further develop their markets, and for local residents to learn about the agriculture and agrifoods industry," added Minister Dunderdale. "Itís also a way for people and families to participate in a fun, educational event."

Budget 2008 allocated $32.8 million for the Agrifoods Development Branch. Highlights of the funding include: $2.95 million for the developing cranberry industry to provide for increased plant propagation, site development and specialized equipment; $1 million for research and development activities focusing on developing new and improved crops and livestock systems, and $442,000 for the Agriculture Limestone Program in recognition of the importance of the program as industry expands. Additionally, the Provincial Government established a $10-million Farm Loans Guarantee Program to help farmers secure capital from financial institutions to grow their operations and become more competitive.

The industry is valued at $500 million annually and provides direct and indirect employment for 6,200 people, mainly in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

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Media contact:

Tracy Barron
Director of Communications
Department of Natural Resources
709-729-5282; 690-4701

tracybarron@gov.nl.ca

BACKGROUNDER

  • The 2008 Agrifoods and Garden Show creates a business opportunity for local farmers, and an avenue for agricultural awareness.
  • The show encourages the general public to buy local products, and is an agricultural educational opportunity.
  • The event began in Corner Brook in 1998 and received the Public Service Award of Excellence from the Provincial Government in 2002.
  • Fourteen agricultural shows are held in Newfoundland and Labrador, attracting 60,000 to 70,000 visitors a year. Itís estimated 100,000 people have viewed the shows during the past 10 years.
  • Western Newfoundland has three major shows: in Deer Lake, Port au Port, and Corner Brook.
  • Farms participating in the 2008 Agrifoods and Garden Show are located in Codroy Valley, Humber Valley, Bay St. George, and Bay of Islands.

2008 09 30                                                    11:25 a.m.
 


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