Ottawa County’s Farmland Preservation Program is holding its second annual “Farms are the Tapas” fundraising event 6-8 p.m. Sept. 20 at Terra Square in Hudsonville. All proceeds will go toward supporting farmland preservation efforts in the very ag-intensive western Michigan county.
This fun evening features a master chef cooking competition with chefs from Sonder Eatery, The Farmhouse Deli, Butch’s Dry Dock and The Elbo Room. Guests will dine on creations made from locally sourced ingredients and vote on their favorite one. There will be a cash bar serving local beer and wine and live entertainment from western Michigan musician Jack Leaver.
New to the event this year is a silent auction featuring outstanding agricultural-related items up for grabs, such as a share in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm; a Lake Michigan sunset cruise with a farm-to-table dinner onboard; half a locally raised pig complete with processing and freezer; a family farm pass bundled with local coffee and blueberries; and an aerial photography package.
Proceeds from the event support Ottawa County’s diverse and prosperous agricultural community. Ottawa leads Michigan counties in the production of turkeys, blueberries, ornamental nursery crops and perennials. Its nearly 1,400 farms employ hundreds of hardworking residents, complements the area’s natural beauty, and provides access to a plentiful supply of fresh, locally grown agricultural goods.
Preservation of the land that makes it all possible is of utmost importance amid widespread growth and development.
“Productive farmland is disappearing across the nation. Here in Ottawa County we enjoy a bounty of local agricultural commodities thanks to our abundant farmland,” says Cliff Meeuwsen, president of Zeeland Farm Services and chair of Ottawa County’s Ag Preservation Board. “To ensure future generations can enjoy it as much as we do, it’s important to support farmland preservation whenever possible.”
Other members of the Agricultural Preservation Board include Ottawa County Farm Bureau members Michael Bronkema, Matt Fenske, Nathan Pyle and Luke Meerman.
For more information or to order Farms are the Tapas tickets ($50), visit www.miOttawa.org/Tapas.