HERMISTON — As organizers plow forward with the inaugural Farm City Ag & Home Expo, they are hoping to harvest some of the magic from the Hermiston Farm Fair. By cherry-picking some of its best elements, new activities will create a two-day agriculture-related and family-friendly event.

“We are really excited to be bringing this event to western Umatilla County,” Karrine Brogoitti, EO Media Group regional revenue director, said. “This is something the Hermiston Herald and EO Media Group is really proud to be a part of.”

The newly created exposition is presented by the Hermiston Herald, Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center, Oregon State University Extension Service and the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce. It is Feb. 24-25, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at EOTEC, 1705 E. Airport Road. The doors open both days at 8 a.m. Admission is free.

The first day features seminars, including presentations by various OSU Extension services representatives, a Washington State University Extension educator and a seed care professional with McGregor Company. Recertification credits through the Department of Agriculture in both Oregon and Washington are available.

And the second day offers family-friendly activities, including live music by Brass Fire Band, a petting zoo, hay wagon rides, a dancing horse show and a bounce house. Also, people can attend home and garden seminars with such topics as the benefits of composting kitchen waste, cooking on a budget, window covering solutions, and landscaping and water usage tips.

“It’s more than just tractors and ag stuff,” said Audra Workman, Hermiston Herald’s office coordinator and territory sales assistant. “We’re making it fun for the kids, too.”

Val Hoxie, Hermiston Chamber of Commerce executive director, is looking forward to information from home/garden professionals. And she’s particularly excited about creating an event that caters to a wider audience.

“I love the way … it includes the whole community to bring us together,” she said. “It’s not just for farmers and ranchers but we can learn about things like taking care of our lawns.”

Angel Aguilar, Hermiston Herald’s Umatilla County territory sales manager, said the community has been extremely positive. With more than two dozen vendors already confirmed, he anticipates that number to climb before the expo opens.

“It’s a really good start for our first year,” Aguilar said. “We’re looking forward to growing this for the future.”

Aguilar said people should be on the lookout for the Lamb Weston “fry truck.” People can enjoy a variety of potato products — piping hot and free of charge.

For other food and beverages, bring your wallets. Bobablastic will brew up a variety of teas, including iced, blended or creamy; Mari’s La Pasadita’s menu features tamales and flautas with side options of rice and beans; and Apa Churros offers regular, mini, glazed, filled and churro bites.

A signature showcase for OSU’s Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center, the Farm Fair wrapped up its 46th year a few months before pandemic-related mandates restricted large indoor gatherings. Subsequently, the 2020 Farm Fair was held virtually and has continued in that format.

The ag and home expo is not replacing the Farm Fair. It provides an exciting new opportunity to showcase Hermiston, Aguilar said, while bringing everyone together.

“People get to take their family out and enjoy a free event and they can learn a little more about the ag side of our community,” he said. “We really want to see this grow in our area.”

For more information, visit bit.ly/3RP8LMP. For questions, call 541-564-4531.

Erick Peterson, Hermiston Herald

editor, contributed to this story.

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