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County planning 2nd farmland preservation fundraiser

Alex Doty • Jul 2, 2018 at 2:00 PM

The Ottawa County Farmland Preservation Program is planning to host a second annual Farms are the Tapas fundraiser to support farmland preservation throughout the county.

‘“Productive farmland is disappearing across the nation,” said Cliff Meeuwsen, chairman of the Ottawa County Ag Preservation Board and president of Zeeland Farm Services. “Right here at home in Ottawa County we enjoy a bounty of local agricultural commodities thanks to our abundant farmland. To ensure that future generations can enjoy it as much as we do, it’s important to support farmland preservation whenever possible.”

Event proceeds support the agricultural community in Ottawa County, the most agriculturally diverse county in the state. County officials note that Ottawa leads the state in the production of turkeys, blueberries, ornamental nursery crops and perennials. The county’s productive farmland, made up of almost 1,400 farms, offers an abundance of jobs to hardworking individuals and also lends to the natural beauty the county is known for. It also provides residents with access to fresh, locally grown agricultural goods.

This year’s fundraiser is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, at Terra Square in Hudsonville. The event will feature a master chef cooking competition with chefs from Sonder Eatery, The Farmhouse Deli, Butch’s Dry Dock and The Elbo Room.

Dining options will consist of creations made with locally sourced ingredients and participants can vote on their favorite. There will be a cash bar with local beer and wine, and live entertainment by West Michigan musician Jack Leaver.

New to the event this year is a silent auction that features agricultural-related items up for grabs, such as a CSA share, a Lake Michigan sunset cruise with a farm-to-table-style dinner onboard, half of a locally raised pig complete with processing and freezer, a family farm pass bundled with local coffee and blueberries, and an aerial photography package.

Tickets for Farms are the Tapas are $50. For more information about Farms are the Tapas, or to purchase tickets, go to www.miOttawa.org/Tapas.

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