Sturgeon County Bounty is a Sturgeon County Economic Development initiative, aimed at providing local producers, chefs and processors with an opportunity to promote and expand value-added agriculture in the region. Building a strong connection between the producer and the consumer, while also promoting rural tourism is the goal of the initiative.
The Bounty has been an initiative since the Fall of 2010 and the Bounty taste events have promoted the initiative and the producers, processors, chefs and artisans involved. We have hosted a Fall 2010 taste event where we drew in 1,500 visitors. The fourth annual Sturgeon County Bounty in 2012 had over 2,000 visitors.
The initiative has begun to make the connection between the producers and down the value-chain to the consumer. Restaurants have the ability to connect to the producers and processors to source more local products and see the abundance of products available in the region.
What is value-added agriculture?
Value-added means providing an enhancement to a product or service before it is offered to the public. In agriculture,the concept of value-adding provides an economic opportunity to a food producing region, better food security and less of an environmental footprint to the area that is able to grow, process and offer the process product directly into that same community.
Much of the current raw agriculture product is exported vast distances, processed elsewhere and shipped back as a finished sellable product that you purchase in your local grocery store. Value-adding keeps the entire process local until it is purchased by the consumer.
Transportation costs, fresher products and jobs in processing also provide a new economic opportunity that may not have existed before.
Developing food product value chains is more sustainably viable in the long term for a community. Value chains in any industry benefit and work in much the same way.
The Artisan Connection
We have been asked why we connect art and cultural vendors into the Bounty mix. Simply, when promoting the food products in the region, highlighting the region's art and culture complete the story of history and diversity of the business and residents, that call Sturgeon County home, showcasing where food is produced and processed. During a taste event, showcasing artisans makes the food tasting more of an experience and it provides a means of artisans and local business to become part of the local food experience.