FREDERIKSTED — The theme “V.I. Agriculture Strong: Rebound, Rebuild, Regrow” resonated throughout the fairground of the Rudolph E. Schulterbrandt Agricultural Complex in Estate Lower Love on St. Croix during the 47th Annual Agriculture and Food Fair.
The festivities kicked off on Saturday and will continue through Monday.
Agrifest has become one of the territory’s largest and most anticipated annual events. The weekend-long celebration of Virgin Islands cultural, culinary, and agricultural traditions typically takes place in February, but was postponed to Memorial Day weekend due to the devastation of livestock and crops by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Governor Kenneth Mapp praised the spirit of the people of the Virgin Islands, but especially the resilience of the territory’s farmers despite the many challenges of the last few months.
“I come from a farming family and I know the hard work it takes to run a farm,” Mapp recalled his years of tending to goats and sheep before school. “Agriculture is an important part of our culture and economy. We are working together with our local and federal partners on opportunities to qualify our dedicated farmers for grants and other assistance.”
Governor Mapp also presented a plaque to the family of the late Sharon M. Brown who was the Director of Food Exhibits on the Fair Board at the time of her passing. She was a member of the Board for almost two decades and this year’s fair is named in her honor.
The fairground was full of vendors selling local delicacies and handmade goods and farmers with all the plants and produce imaginable. Linda Lacy-Hodge was named Livestock Farmer of the Year and Grantley Samuel went home with yet another title of Crop Farmer of the Year.
Governor Mapp encouraged the community to visit the fair and support local farmers and vendors.
The fair will continue to run through Sunday, May 27 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Monday, May 28 from noon to 6 p.m.