Festival Addition Cultivates Farming Culture, Starting with Sprouts

By: Garrett Wymer Email
By: Garrett Wymer Email

STAUNTON -- The push for agritourism in the Valley continues, as cultivating a culture for farming starts with little sprouts.

WHSV originally reported the push in August, when the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce announced it in conjunction with the "Good Times, Tastes and Traditions" festival in Staunton.

Just like planting corn, growing the next crop of farmers has to start with a seed.

"I don't know what to say, but I just wanted to say that I was having a good time here," said seven-year-old Rylee Shiflett.

Rylee, along with his brother, Aiden, and father, Jason, spent the day at "Farming in the Valley," a new branch of the Good Times, Tastes and Traditions festival.

"Not every child is going to be a farmer, or relate to farming directly," said John See, with DuPont Pioneer, a plant genetics developer and supplier. See was showing kids how to plant corn, an important part of our agricultural economy. "But it gives good practical knowledge to know where their food and food supplies derive from, where it does come from, and the importance of all agriculture to the whole economy of the United States."

"Farming in the Valley" is part of a push for agritourism in the Valley - an effort to plant the seed of agriculture a little bit deeper.

"Right now a lot of the kids that are growing up are at least one or two generations removed from the farm," said Jason Shiflett. "They don't know what it takes to get their steak or to get their milk or whatever it is that they're eating, or what they're wearing. They don't know what goes into it. And you don't want to take that kind of stuff for granted."

Teaching the little sprouts helps the Valley's agricultural way of life continue to thrive.

Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce president Linda Hershey has said she hopes to see Augusta County become an agritourism destination, celebrating the area's farm heritage.

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