Farmer-Consumer Awareness Day group presses on
What would September in Quincy be like without Farmer-Consumer Awareness Day? After one of the founders of the event, Chet Pedersen, passed away on Dec. 1, 2018, that question may have crossed the mind of many local residents who have enjoyed FCAD for decades.
Over the years, a large group of locals has worked behind the scenes to put on FCAD, and Pedersen was its leader. After the loss of Pedersen, the organizing group resumed meetings and has elected a new president, Wyman Duggan.
Duggan has more than 20 years of experience with the organization, which he considers a close group.
“Nothing is going to change,” Duggan said in an interview on April 2. “It’s a lot of work, but we will keep it going.”
While Duggan does not see the need for changes, he has a few goals in mind. He would like to see more young people involved as many of the current members are getting older. Duggan would also like to establish a website for FCAD.
Another longtime member of the group, Grace Kok, has been FCAD secretary for more than 20 years. She echoes Duggan’s sentiments that nothing will change with the FCAD celebrations. She feels the organization of the event is well established and will continue on the track Pedersen set.
Looking back over the years, Kok recalls a few changes in the program. The antique tractor pull was not initially part of the day but is now a big attraction, as is the car show.
“We get new vendors every year, which is good,” Kok said.
FCAD will take place in early September. The organizing group holds monthly meetings and will be busy as usual bringing all the parts of FCAD together for the big day.
The day that Pedersen helped create and keep going reminds everyone of the importance of agriculture. In an interview published in 2010, Pedersen explained how FCAD came about.
“Dennis Higashiyama, who was farming with his father, Macky heard on his tractor radio a person call into Paul Harvey. She was rather emphatic that farmers are not a necessity, since all foodstuffs were available at the supermarket. I was chamber president in 1980 and Dennis came to me with troubling concerns. Dennis was upset. He asked me if I would support him in his quest to start an event which would showcase farmers and farming at the grassroots. I fully agreed, and furthermore, realized how the theme fit Quincy.”
In 2010, Pedersen credited the greater community for keeping FCAD thriving, with different people and groups coming together and helping out.
The Farmer-Consumer Awareness Day Farm Family of the Year is the Becerra family, and the Honorary Farmer of the Year is Chet Pedersen.
By Jaana Hatton, For the Post-Register