SPRING BAY – Members of the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies (OAAS), District 12 gathered in Spring Bay this past weekend to discuss recent events and changes at the district and OAAS level and, nearer and dearer to some hearts and stomachs, to select winners of district competitions in butter tarts, chocolate chip cookies, posters and quilts. The meeting was hosted by the Providence Bay Agricultural Society.
There are seven members of District 12, eight when Central Manitoulin Public School is counted in the fold as an honourary youth/school member and the sector is very much alive and vibrant, noted District Director Vera Clearwater.
Entered into competition at the district level this year were the aforementioned butter tarts and chocolate chip cookies, as well as both machine and hand quilted quilts.
District 12 secretary Pat Marcotte reported the results of the judging. Myra Tallman of Mindemoya’s outstanding mixed technique ‘My Red Poppies’ took top honours in the hand quilted category, while Dena Barnes of Mindemoya took the machine-quilted category for her Christmas tree themed quilt.
In the butter tart competition, Mary White was tasked with the delicious task of judging and top honours went to Roberta Willet of Bruce Mines. The under 18 youth category chocolate chip cookie champ was Autumn Davey of the Providence Bay Fair.
In the poster competition, Mica Wilton of Central Manitoulin Public School took the junior youth category while Autumn Davey, also of CMPS took the intermediate category.
“We had a very good, excellent discussion on developments at the OAS,” said Ms. Marcotte, “although we did not yet get anyone to replace our retiring provincial director.” Although delegates were apprised of the need for a replacement, no names were brought forward.
“They will keep looking for someone to take on that position,” she said. “In the meantime our district directors will keep everyone up to date on what is happening at OAS.”
Among the changes taking place at next year’s agricultural fair competitions are some that impact the butter tart competitions. “We had already eliminated nuts,” said Ms. Marcotte. “Now we are removing fruit like raisins. The tarts will be judged on the taste of the filling and the crust.”
Ms. Marcotte noted that the OAS conducts intensive training for competition judges. “We try to get out at least one (training session) during the year,” she said. Contact your local agricultural society for more information on upcoming training opportunities.
This year’s Ontario Fairs convention will take place on February 13 to 15 at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel and Suites.