An elaborate exhibit featuring Santa Cruz County received a Silver Medal at the California State Fair in Sacramento last month. The exhibit was among 30 County displays that were shown at the State Fair.
As one of the featured exhibits, Santa Cruz County showcased our area’s local berry industry. This unique program was first introduced at the State Fair in the 1870s and has evolved into one of the most favored attractions because of its unique ways of highlighting California’s agriculture, diverse landscape, economy and culture. It is the only competition of this kind in the country to showcase all of the counties within a single state.
“We are extremely pleased to have a presence at the State Fair and to receive this award,” said Melanie Mow Schumacher, who has coordinated the Santa Cruz County Exhibit for eight years.
An avid fairgoer, she noticed in 2004 that other Counties from all over California were showcasing their area, but Santa Cruz was missing. In fact, Santa Cruz had not participated in over three years due to lack of funding from the county. She decided to spearhead an effort to have a booth at the State Fair. The agricultural education organization, serves as the lead organization in the fundraising drive within Santa Cruz County and comes up with the design.
This award winning exhibit was fabricated by Mikon Production. The overall theme of the booth highlights the upcoming county fair theme: “Come See the Berry Best.” It features information about berry farming and its importance to Santa Cruz County.
The Counties Exhibits are a cherished favorite at the State Fair and were viewed by over 700 thousand people during the fair, July 12-29.
“This is a huge marketing and outreach tool,” said Bill Ringe, President of Agri-Culture.
The Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee Chair JJ Scurich took on the responsibility of raising funds for the exhibit.
“I feel pretty good about what we did,” Scurich said. “We had a lot of sponsors and a lot of people came through for us … It’s a nice thing for the entire county.”
For those local citizens who didn’t make it to the State Fair this year, the Santa Cruz County exhibit will be on display as part of the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau booth at the in Watsonville, Sept. 11-16