FCAD returns for 35th year
Farmer Consumer Awareness Day, or FCAD to locals, marks its 35th consecutive year on Sept. 12.
Created in 1981 from a desire to better educate people about where their food comes from, FCAD today includes a variety of longstanding and popular events, including a fresh produce sale, a potato and corn cook off, a tractor pull, tours of area crops and geology, a memorial service at the Quincy Valley Veterans Memorial Wall and a grand parade through Quincy’s downtown, to name only a few.
Debbie Ramsey, an FCAD Committee board member and organizer of the children’s events, said she has a passion for events that bring a community together.
“With Farmer-Consumer, I see people coming together,” said Ramsey, who hasn’t missed an FCAD since moving to Quincy more than 20 years ago. “And it’s a celebration about farming.”
This year, FCAD honors Darrell Van Dyke and Ann Van Dyke as the 2015 Farm Family of the Year. The Van Dykes, owners of Van Dyke Farms and Blakal Packing, join a long list of successful and resilient local families who have played a hand in building up the Quincy Valley for generations.
Wilf Woods, a champion for area farmers whose father was a leader in establishing the Grand Coulee Dam, will be recognized as the 2015 Honorary Farmer. The Woods family owns the Wenatchee World.
In many ways, Woods has picked up where his father left off, said Susan Lacy, a fellow member of the Wenatchee Valley Erratics Chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute.
FCAD kicks off each year with the Chef Challenge at White Heron Cellars in Trinidad, which is held the Friday before FCAD. Participating chefs are challenged to use local ingredients in their dishes.
On Saturday, FCAD begins at 7 a.m. at Quincy High School. (Despite rumors that have been plaguing the FCAD Committee this year, the event was not relocated to Lauzier Park.) Vendors open at 9 a.m. at QHS. The Jason Brown Band and the Moses Willey Band provide the live entertainment, and both the Farm Family of the Year and the Honorary Farmer will be honored at noon on the event’s main stage behind QHS.
However, at the park for the second year in a row will be the Quincy Balloon Festival, which is followed by fireworks in the evening. New this year, American Fool, a John Cougar Mellencamp tribute band, takes to the community stage at 7 p.m.
For a full FCAD schedule, watch for the QVPR’s special FCAD publication, which will be inserted into the weekly paper on Sept. 10.