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DUNDEE -- Although it has an agricultural theme, the ninth annual Family Farm Field Day, to be held at the Reuben and Catherine Yoder Farm, is for more than just farmers.
It's for anyone who is "interested in a higher quality of life," said organizer Lloyd Miller.
Toward that end, the event schedule is packed full with educational sessions on everything from grass-based agriculture to low energy lifestyles -- ways to live a simpler and more idyllic lifestyle.
This year's event is July 18-19, and kicks off Friday at 4 p.m. with a vendor show, featuring close to 100 vendors for people to browse, offering house items, farm items and everything in-between.
Then the sessions will get under way. The first day, which lasts until dark, there will be a class on horse training, another on growing food on 10 acres or less, and a class on how to do first aid using herbs.
The sessions begin again Saturday at 8:30 a.m. with a class on sheep herding -- always a big draw, according to Miller -- and then a variety of classes on topics like managing a grass dairy, sprouting grains, making good food choices and raising meat.
Incorporating demonstrations and supplies, the sessions are categorized in tracks, with a Grazing Track, Farmstead Track, Homestead Track, Alternative Energy Track, Children's Track, Natural Resources Track and Beekeeping Tent.
With so many choices, attendees can pick and choose which session they want to attend and pick up tips along the way, like how to grill prime cut steaks as professionally as possible, the best techniques for sharpening knives, or how to prepare nutrient dense foods.
In a world in which technology is always improving, many of the tips have sadly gone by the wayside, noted Miller, who also said, "We think if you can grow your own food and tap into your own resources, you'll be healthier, your animals will be healthier and your life will be more worth living."
That's not to say "we can create a Garden of Eden," Miller added. "There's no perfect scenario. But still, we think if people learn the ins and outs of simply working with nature instead of fighting it, they'll be much better off."
That encapsulates the vision of the Family Farm Field Day Committee, which puts on the event and is committed to promoting sustainable agriculture and living off the land.
To inspire young people, the committee also is offering various games and activities, as well as an obstacle course, farm animals, exotic animals, trapping sessions, coyote calling sessions and nature walks.
"We want to get young people involved with the world around them and get them away from iPods and other electronics" Miller said. "And every year, a lot of them get excited by nature. And that's really cool."
Food stands will sell ice cream, pies, sandwiches and more, with all the proceeds going to a special education fund for local parochial schools.
Yet the event itself is free, Miller noted, thanks in large part to the hard work of volunteers and the generous support of sponsors.
The event takes place at 2517 Township Road 606, Dundee. For more information call Lloyd Miller at 330-275-7759 or Jerry Miller at 330-893-1470.
Reporter Brandon Zaffini can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.