From the variety of food made by local proprietors with regional commodities, to the locally sourced beer and wine selection and the countless raffle prizes and commodity boxes supplied by area vendors, the Colusa County Farm Bureau’s Local Bounty Fundraiser Dinner was just that – a bountiful supply of everything Colusa County and the surrounding region.
For the last six years, the Bureau has hosted this annual fundraiser to showcase the abundance of commodities produced throughout the region by bringing several local businesses and the community together for a night of tastings and socializing.
Melodie Johnson, executive manager of the Colusa County Farm Bureau, said more than 300 people were in attendance at the dinner held at the Colusa County Fairgrounds Thursday night.
Don Litchfield, owner and chef of Rocco’s Bar and Grill in Colusa, said he has attended the event all six years because it is a great way to be a part of the community.
“You get to taste everybody’s food in one place,” said Litchfield. “And it’s nice to see everyone on a different level than at the restaurant.”
Among the many samplings offered by the restaurant, Litchfield said Rocco’s prepared a charcuterie board, a chocolate fountain, several desserts including lemon bars made from the Willows based Knaughty Farms olive oil and their famous garlic cheese bread.
In addition to Rocco’s, this years feast included tastings from Caffeinated, Market Street Grill, The Rawbar, Sauced, Colusa Casino Resort, Grindstone Wines, Sweet Bean’s Cafe, The Maxwell Inn, Wellnut Farms, Farmers Brewing Co., Sierra Nevada, Rumiano Cheese, Granzella’s and Shannon Ridge Family of Wine.
Operational for just over a year, this was the second time the Arbuckle based food truck Sauced attended the event.
“It’s great exposure for everyone in the county,” said Susie McCullough, owner of Sauced. “And it’s great to see local people come out and support the Farm Bureau.”
During the event, McCullough’s son and Sauced chef Mitch McCullough served up pulled pork or beef sliders with a choice of one of their four sauces.
McCullough said she also prepared 45 pounds of their signature homemade potatoes salad for the event, a customer favorite at Sauced.
Steps away, Mike and Amy Doherty, owners of Arbuckle based Grindstone Wines, were busy pouring samples of the six wines offered by the company. Also Local Bounty Dinner veterans, Mike Doherty said he comes back to the event year after year to show support for the grassroots organization that works hard to supports area farmers and ranchers while reconnecting with friends and family.
“It’s nice to visit and see so many familiar faces come together,” said Doherty.
Instead of hosting a silent auction this year, the Bureau decided to mix things up and introduced the Local Bounty Passport. Attendees could get their passport card punched at each of the vendors they visited and if they collected all 12 they could turn it in for a chance to win a raffle prize.
Johnson said the passports were well received by attendees and she plans to continue this format in the future.
“It keeps people moving and seeing friends and associates,” said Johnson.
The Colusa Farm Bureau hosted a sit-down dinner fundraiser for many year before the inception of the Local Bounty Dinner but decided to change up the format to a less formal setting that encourage attendees to mingle and move around and rebranded the dinner as the Local Bounty.
Doherty, who has been a long time supporter of the Bureau and attended the formal dinners, said he loves the tradition to the more social, party-like atmosphere.
“It’s a great way to showcase your product while getting to talk with everyone,” said Doherty.
According to Johnson, funds raised by the dinner support all five County Future Farmers of America chapters, Colusa County 4-H, the Arbuckle Field Day, the Bureau’s annual Ag Tours excursion and other donation requests in addition to scholarships for vocational education or agriculture related majors and agriculture education for local schools.
“Funding is also used to finance special speakers, employee (and) employer trainings and special events,” said Johnson.