"Sowing Seeds of Understating"
Farm City Celebration History
Since 1955, the National Farm-City Council has supported educational programming to build interdependence between rural and urban citizens, and the President of the United Sates has annually proclaimed the week leading to and including Thanksgiving Day as National Farm-City® Week.
In the Chico area, the idea to observe Farm City Week was created in November of 1979 at the same time as the organization of the North Sacramento Valley California Women for Agriculture Chapter (CWA). It was CWA who chose to observe the week with a food tasting of locally grown products in a local bank and with a poster contest in local elementary schools. The poster contest theme that year was "Farm and City - Working Together."
In 1980, CWA held the food tasting, a poster contest and a dinner dance; creating what they described as Farm City Week. It was not until 1981 when CWA partnered with the Ag Council of the Chico Chamber of Commerce and the Butte County Farm Bureau to create a full week of activities. The three organizations each provided $300 to help in the planning of the activities.
Farm City Week continued to grow adding an Awards Reception, Bus Tour, Dog Walk, Farmer's Faire at the Chico Mall, and Children's Day on the Farm. At one time, there was even a Farm City Concert hosted by the Chico Symphony Orchestra. Activities soon became too many to hold in one week. In 1996 the Farm City Celebration was born allowing events to take place through the entire month of November.
After 30 years, the Farm City Celebration still continues with many of the same events including the Awards Reception, the Agri-Business Bus Tour, and Children's Day on the Farm. In 2008, the Harvest Festival was born, replacing the Farmer's Faire. The Harvest Festival takes place on the lawn of the Bidwell Mansion and brings the farm to the city with small farm animals to touch, old and new farm equipment to see and educational displays about Butte County commodities.
Many of the same partners are still involved including CWA and the Butte County Farm Bureau. Over the years additional support and planning has come from the Butte County Ag Commissioner, UC Cooperative Extension, Butte County Cattlemen and Cattlewomen and CSU Chico and Butte College Agriculture programs.
The Farm City Celebration, after 30 years, is more excited than ever to help bring the "Farm" and the "City" together to understand the value agriculture brings to the community and to the daily lives of its residents.