The Farm to Table event is hosted annually by the Los Banos Downtown Association and is renowned for bringing the community together in celebrating agriculturalists in their commitment to providing food for people across the nation.

This year, the event is being catered by The Kitchen at the Mission, with live music, top-notch wine, and an auction. It will be held in the Henry Miller Plaza from 6 to 9 p.m. on Sept. 22.

Tickets are almost sold out. The remaining tickets are being sold at the Country Duck (927 6th St. in downtown Los Banos).

The Farm to Table movement calls upon consumers to choose locally produced foods over imported and processed alternatives. In the 1950s, America had reached its peak in the production of processed goods until our current era. The period had caused a surge in the growth of processed goods as the first-ever TV dinner was put on the market, all-electric kitchen appliances encouraged convenient cooking, and post war there was a substantial increase in fast food dining.

To combat the surge in demand for processed foods, the Farm to Table movement was founded to support the agricultural community and local economy while furthering the ideal of healthier eating habits. During the last two decades, the movement has been on the rise again as the nation has reached another peak in consuming processed foods.

In 2016 members of the Los Banos Downtown Association decided to host the event on Main Street to honor local agriculturalists and sold 125 tickets. The event has been held every year since, with the exception of 2020 due to COVID. Now the event sells almost 250 tickets.

The Los Banos Farm to Table event honors agriculturalists for their contribution to the community besides just growing food and fiber. This is most evident through their support of agriculture programs such as the Future Farmers of America, where students can learn farming practices, and their donations to many community fundraisers in to help our town thrive.

Penny Glick, chairperson of the Farm to Table event, affirmed that the event is one of the most memorable events of the year as it is “an evening in the stars.”

She said, “As a kid, Los Banos was my happy place. I remembered going to Cornet’s to look for dolls and a baseball bat at the same time, this is my home.”

Glick thought of all the support she was surrounded with growing up, especially from the agricultural community in Los Banos and that she was “proud to be a part of the association” as she, with the help of her committee members Diana Pfitzer and Valerie Stapleton, is able to help the people in Los Banos have the same experience as her growing up and raise awareness for all that agriculturists do.

One of the more important moments of the night is awarding the Farmer of the Year. The criteria for this award include being a role model by providing service to our community, volunteerism, involvement in events and organizations, and financial support. On top of this, the Farmer of the Year is to have mentored young people interested in agriculture, hired local employees, and managed a work environment that is safe.

This year, the Farmer of the Year was awarded to Pat Gallichio who, according to Glick, is “highly qualified for the nomination, very respected and honored, and is a beloved member of the community.”

Prishaa Vala