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Farmer Neighbor Dinner coming up in Cattaraugus County

WEST VALLEY – Just how does the food we eat get from the farm to our plate?

What does it take to be a farmer?

How does sap go from the tree to the top of pancakes as syrup?

Answers to these and other questions will be given as Cattaraugus County offers residents an evening of fun, food and education during the second annual Farmer Neighbor Dinner in West Valley Fire Hall, 9091 Route 240, beginning at 5:30 p.m. April 10.

The dinner was such a hit last year that Crystal Abers, director of tourism and economic development for the county, and members of the Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board decided to make it an annual event.

Last year’s dinner attracted 200 residents, who learned how the county’s agriculture industry helps to provide for not only Cattaraugus County, but also for surrounding counties as well.

“Cattaraugus County is home to a vibrant and diverse agricultural industry,” said Deborah Miller, one of the organizers of the dinner. “Good communication is essential to developing and maintaining good relationships between farm and nonfarm neighbors. This event is a way to bring the county’s farmers and their neighbors together for a night of fellowship and understanding. It will also be a way for the county’s farmers and businesses to showcase what they have to offer each other.”

Also featured are displays from the Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Farm Bureau, 4-H and more.

Ingredients for the dinner, which gets under way at 6:45 p.m., come from Maple Ridge Bison Farm, Canticle Farm of Allegany, Upstate Milk, Native Offerings and Friendship Dairy.

Elizabeth Wolaynk will give a presentation on the importance of agricultural education.