September 26, 2020

Brac Agriculture Show a success

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IMG_8517GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands – Those who attended the Cayman Brac Agriculture Show were treated to cool breezes, amazing entertainment and a wealth of fresh produce, delightful livestock – and a goose – and homemade arts, crafts, jams and jellies.

The annual show is the largest event on Cayman Brac drawing its audience from residents of all three Cayman Islands as well as overseas visitors.

“What makes this show such a draw, I believe, is the spectacular display that the farming community puts on each year,” said Hon. Kurt Tibbetts, Minister responsible for Agriculture, in his opening remarks. “We all have a sense of what it takes to feed us and our families every day. But it is still staggering to see in one place the amount of local produce that our community consumes as a whole.”

Mr. Tibbetts paid tribute to Brac Crop Farmer of the Year from 2003-2014 Margarito “Merch” Chantilope who passed away in July 2014. Before officially opening the show, Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin called for a moment of silence in memory of Mr. Chantilope.

Mr. Merch’s wife, Dorrett Chantilope, was named Champion Farmer in Show 2015 on Saturday. Other awards were:

  • Champion Bull in Show 2015 – Tadd McFarlane
  • Minister’s Innovation in Agriculture – Mrs. Lolita Arch
  • Minister’s Junior Innovation in Agriculture – Mr. Joshua Dilbert

Throughout the day the Agriculture Grounds on the Bluff were filled with entertainment ranging from Reggae Ballet, a fashion show, gospel and local music as well as the annual Maypole dance. Children were treated to rides in a fire truck and police car. The Police and Cadet Corps demonstrated their prowess through a skit that showed them in action during a crisis situation.

Children were also entertained throughout the day through games, colouring activities, face painting and a bouncy castle.

As usual there were food stalls offering enticing and delicious fare.

“It is always wonderful to come home, particularly for those Brackers who love our local cooking as much as I do. Even our Grand Cayman neighbours hold our cooks in high esteem and many have made the trek here today to indulge in some of the most flavourful food to be found in these Islands,” Mr. Tibbetts said.

He said the local agriculture industry has undergone a transformation in recent years with crop and livestock farmers partnering with hoteliers, restauranteurs and supermarkets to provide produce and meat.

“The farm-to-table movement, which encourages agricultural and culinary tourism, has become a marked trend over the past few years and is one that the Government supports,” he said.

Government is working on a food and nutrition security policy, which should be ready by the last quarter of 2015, to help farmers access the resources necessary to provide private sector partners with a stable and sustainable service that meets global standards.

Mr. Tibbetts encouraged backyard gardening and said residents should ensure that traditional skills and knowledge are passed down to each new generation to help secure the country’s food supply.

He praised the after-school programme at the Layman E. Scott Sr. High School where students use the school’s shade house to grow callaloo, tomatoes, seasoning peppers and other vegetables.

“The programme allows them to gain hands-on experience in each stage of the agribusiness process,” he said.

Students, aided by a few teachers, prepare the soil, plant seeds that are provided by the Department of Agriculture, harvest the crops, sell the produce, and keep accounts.

He thanked members of the Cayman Brac Annual Agriculture Show Committee, sponsors, the Department of Agriculture, exhibitors, vendors and hosts for the day, Brac MLAs Deputy Premier Hon. Moses Kirkconnell and Speaker of the House Juliana O’Connor-Connolly.

To help ensure the day’s success, Cayman Airways added an extra jet flight from Grand Cayman to Cayman Brac.

 

 

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