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Crab, wine fest boosts Sonoma County agriculture

  • Mackenzie Froom-Rodgers of Healdsburg FFA, right, and Siena Carvalho of Gateway Windsor 4-H roll a cart full of crab to waiting tables during the 25th annual Great Sonoma Crab and Wine Fest at Grace Pavillion in Santa Rosa, Calif., on February 1, 2014.

Now, that was a crab feed with legs.

The king-sized feast Saturday in the Sonoma County Fairgrounds' Grace Pavilion served as a 25th annual family meal for people joined by involvement in, or support for, local agriculture.

And far into the future, the county's largest crab feed will produce benefits through its financial support of future farmers and of programs that promote an appreciation of agriculture's contributions to the region.

The Sonoma County Farm Bureau Great Sonoma Crab -amp; Wine Fest drew a hungry crowd of more than 1,300 -- grape ranchers, vintners, cheesemakers, restaurateurs, elected officials and connoisseurs of local food and wine.

Boisterous by nature, the gathering hushed for a toast to Saralee McClelland Kunde, the champion and benefactor of agriculture whose death six days earlier left a great void in the hall and in the county.

The evening began with a silent auction and pairings of fine wines and gourmet hors d'oeuvres. Dinner was an abundance of clam chowder, pasta and polenta, fresh Dungeness crab and dessert.

Keeping the food coming was an eager and mannerly corps of young people from 4-H, Future Farmers of America, Santa Rosa Junior College Ag Ambassadors and the Santa Rosa High School Ag Boosters.

Proceeds will benefit their programs and others that keep local agriculture thriving.


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