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Windsor Agricultural Society hoping to vote their way to a new public kitchen facility

Lisa Hines president of the Windsor Agricultural Society and general manager of the Hants County Exhibition, said if they won the Here’s to Hometowns Giveaway, they would give their “tired” kitchen a much-needed upgrade and open it up to more public events.
Lisa Hines president of the Windsor Agricultural Society and general manager of the Hants County Exhibition, said if they won the Here’s to Hometowns Giveaway, they would give their “tired” kitchen a much-needed upgrade and open it up to more public events. - Colin Chisholm

WINDSOR, N.S. - The Windsor Agricultural Society is hoping people will give them a helping hand as they strive to click their way to a new kitchen facility.

Pioneer, a major producer of agriculture seed, has launched the Here’s to Hometowns Giveaway, and the society is one of two finalists in Atlantic Canada.

People can cast a vote once a day every day. The contest closes on Dec. 10, with $50,000 on the line.

The other group vying for votes is the Nova Scotia Syrian Society, which helps refugees establish themselves in their new home, start new businesses or go back to school.

Lisa Hines, president of the Windsor Agricultural Society and general manager of the Hants County Exhibition said they learned about the contest last minute, but were able to submit their entry before the deadline.

They would use the funds to update the “tired” cafeteria kitchen, and open it up to more public experiences, including cooking classes, catering opportunities and local food promotion.

“This is something we’ve been working at already,” she said. “The groundwork has already started on this - but this would help us get to the next stage.”

“It would allow us to finish things by next exhibition and harvest season,” she said. “It was an obvious choice for us.”

The O’Brien Building, where the kitchen facility is, was built in 1977. The kitchen was used as a cafeteria, which for a time was successful, but demographics changed.

Hines is hoping this renovation will bring it back to its former glory.

“There’s kind of an agricultural renaissance going on now, there’s the local food movement and people are starting to go back to the land, with an interest in growing their own food,” she said. “We see an opportunity to also help fill a knowledge gap, when it comes to making grandma’s pickles, or things like that.”

“It’s something we can all, as a community, benefit from.”

The point, Hines says, is emphasizing local food right at the heart of North America’s oldest agricultural exhibition.

Regardless of whether or not the agriculture society wins, Hines said she’s happy that more people are learning about what the society does.

“Just seeing this being shared around and getting lots of traction has been great,” she said. “$50,000 is a big deal for a non-profit, but if nothing else it’s promoted our exhibition and has given people a feel for what we do.”

View the contest’s webpage here.

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