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The Colusa County Farm Bureau drew another huge crowed to the organization’s one and only fundraiser of the year.
More than 300 people attended “Local Bounty” on Thursday, an eating, drinking, and socializing event, where guests sampled a large variety of food and drink offered by the area’s restaurants, wineries, and food producers.
People meandered to tables filled with an abundant of concoctions, having a passports punched in order to win special prizes.
The popular event, which included a raffle and commodity box auction, helps the Farm Bureau raise money to host the Ag Tour, provide scholarships to graduating seniors, and support general operations of the Colusa office, said Farm Bureau Manager Melody Johnson.
“We got a lot of positive feedback about all the different tastes,” said Executive Director Melody Johnson. “We had a few new things this year.”
Providing food and drink were 14 businesses from the area.
Marlana Gould poured Lake County-produced Buck Shack and Shannon Ridge wine for the first time, and said she was thrilled to be invited this year.
“We are so close, and we always wanted to come and share our amazing products,” Gould said.
Jenny MacDonald and Albert Bach, of Arbuckle, were also newcomers to the event, serving Don Chuy’s food, including dirty rice and Mexican street corn.
The Woodland-based restaurant, owned by Bach’s family, is also a general caterer that serves the Colusa County area.
“This is a great way to get our name out to the county,” MacDonald said.
Also new to the Local Bounty lineup of scrumptiousness was Wellnut Farms, whose indulgent and smooth, non-GMO, all natural walnut butters are now sold in more than 2,000 stores nationwide and at Amazon.
Leon Etchepare, a fourth generation Maxwell farmer, started Wellnut Farms just three years ago at the family’s walnut processing farm. His low sugar, vegan, and healthy Wellnut butters, which come in original, salted caramel, and maple, can be served with fruit, in drinks, or eaten right out of the jar.
“We are farm to spoon,” Etchepare said. “That’s our trademark and our claim to fame.”
Etchepare said the Local Bounty event not only helps local businesses promote their products, but it also supports the Colusa County Farm Bureau, which in turn supports the local farmers.
“It’s hard to do what we do without them,” Etchepare said.
Returning food and drink vendors to Local Bounty, from throughout the area, included Caffeinated, Colusa Casino & Resort, The Raw Bar, Market Street Grill, Rocco’s, Sauced, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Sweet Beans, Grindstone Winery & Vineyards, and Granzella’s. Colusa County Young Farmers & Ranchers hosted the bar.
The recently reopened Maxwell Inn, under new ownership, made its debut at the event on Thursday with head chef Richard Sanapal’s open-faced steak sandwiches considered a fan favorite.
Sanapal grew up in Wisconsin with parents who were in the restaurant business.
“It’s in my blood, he said. “I’ve been working since I was barely able to see over the counter.”
Enjoying the abundance of offerings, Deryl and Suzanne (Shore) Phy, of Colusa, started attending the Local Bounty Fundraiser to support the Colusa County Farm Bureau shortly after moving to the area five years ago.
The couple moved to Colusa from Clovis, a city of 100,000 people, after they assumed operation of the Shore Ranch, which belonged to Suzanne Phy’s late grandfather, Frank Edward Shore.
The Local Bounty fundraiser has become a tradition that the couple said is the epitome of country living.
“We come every year to support the Farm Bureau,” Suzanne Phy said. “We love the small town country life.” ■