Fair Week, Food, and Farmers
How much carbon dioxide is produced to make the ingredients for your favorite sandwich? Are there any farms in Cambria County that sale to the public? What plants does the Conservation District sale?
These are some questions the District answered with our annual booth at the American Legion County Fair in Ebensburg held September 1-7, 2019.
The main theme of our booth this year was “Your Carbon Footprint and How You Can Reduce It”. Our booth was shared with the local Farm Bureau and featured information about farming as well as carbon dioxide production. We featured an interactive display that challenged people to “Lighten” their lunch, by exposing the hidden costs of our average food items. The display featured figurine food, some weighted and others empty, to represent the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by each of those items. Participants were asked to pick out different figurine food items to make their lunch and weigh them, and then were educated on reducing CO2 emissions of buying local. Once participants were made aware of the industrial food system process and the amount of CO2 being produced by items bought in stores, compared to the amount produced when buying local produce, they were then asked to pick out figurine food items that weighed less. The more an item weighed, the greater CO2 impact it had on the environment. The objective was to make participants aware of the processes their average everyday food goes through before reaching their table. This interactive activity was paired with a video featuring local producers in Cambria County.
The video was created using newly developed aerial imagery and Geography Information System (GIS) technology. Titled Cambria County Producers, the video shows traditional still imagery of produce/products available from local farms, as well as 3D aerial imagery of the farms. The imagery was accompanied by farm names, addresses, hours available, and contact information, for easy access to these products. While there are numerous local producers in the county, the video featured a small portion of only eight farms. The purpose of the video was to make citizens aware of the local producers in their area, so that they would be enticed to buy local, and in turn reduce their CO2 emissions from their food choices.
Other sections of the fair booth featured winning posters from our annual poster contest, with information on the upcoming 2020 contest. Pictures featuring previous flowers and trees sold by the District’s annual Plant and Tree Sale were hung on the wall, along with a sign up for the 2020 mailing list. Wildlife boxes, including a bat box and blue bird viewing box, were presented with chances for participants to sign up to win them. A great deal of information was displayed regarding the semi-annual Appliance and Tire Collection the District hosts in conjunction with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. The Farm Bureau exhibited a variety of information pertaining to their message.
The week went quickly and much information was passed on to the public. We look forward to next year’s fair week!