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Winner of Agricultural Fair ornamental plant competition announced. (August 21,2017)

THE Department of Lands and Natural Resources has announced the winners of the ornamental-plant competition in the 34th Saipan and Northern Islands Agricultural Fair held at Garapan Fishing Base on Saturday:

  • Mynna Daily, who received a prize of $126
  • Froilan Camacho, $57
  • John Joseph P. Sanchez, $37
  • Jose D.L.G. Sanchez, $17
  • Bernadita P. Sanchez, $3
  • Delfina Santos, $90
  • Katrina Cabrera, $40
  • Jack C. Muna, $37

The winners in the other categories will be announced today, Monday, DLNR said.

In an interview on Saturday during the fair, DLNR Secretary Anthony Benavente said the event successfully celebrated farmers and ranchers who “faced and overcame climate and resource challenges through their hard work, passion and enthusiasm.”

He added, “I am glad that this 34th fair became a reality. There was a proposal not to hold a fair this year, but the good president of the Agricultural Fair, [Michael Ogo,] decided to proceed with it and we supported it. Look at the outcome — everybody is coming here and we have beautiful cattle and livestock and small animals and all the fruits and vegetables.”

Cows, chickens, pigs and goats were the centers of attraction for children. Different varieties of vegetables, fruits and ornamental plants were also showcased during the fair.

In his message, Benavente underscored the role of farmers and ranchers in the community. “You play a vital role in the production of fresh goods our community has come to enjoy and rely on. You help in the retention and perpetuation of our cultural and traditional farming and ranching practices. Your collective efforts highlighted today are essential to the growth and stability of our economy.”

In his remarks, Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres, a farmer himself, encouraged farmers and ranchers to pass on their skills to the younger generation.

“It is important to teach our children — the next generation — how to cultivate, how to take advantage of our resources because every one of us can contribute and produce so that our people and tourists can enjoy local fruits and livestock products.”

Northern Marianas College President Carmen Fernandez said NMC fully supports farmers and ranchers. “We are here for you in every way,” she told them. “There are millions of dollars leaving our economy to purchase imported fruits and vegetables. And I want to put those millions of dollars in your pockets. I want you to be gaining those funds, and we are here to support you and make that happen. That is the dream and the goal.”

Isidoro Cabrera, Agricultural Fair member, said they normally hold it in May but because of “certain circumstances,” this year’s event was delayed.

“We appreciate the community’s support and the contributions of private businesses that helped make this event one of the most successful so far,” he said.

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