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2012 St. Thomas/St. John Ag and Food Fair Winners

Charles Leonard and Nathaniel Tuitt were honored as the 2012 crop and livestock farmers of the year, respectively, at the St. Thomas/St. John Agriculture and Food Fair held this month on the grounds of UVI's Reichhold Center for the Arts. This year's theme was "Agriculture: Key to Improving Our Economy."

The two, long-time St. Thomas farmers headlined the list of other competition winners. Their selection was announced during the Fair's opening ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 3. The annual Fair, which continued through Nov. 4, featured tempting displays of some of the best locally produced fresh produce, plants, arts and crafts, and specialty products. With most of that available for sale, fairgoers eagerly took the opportunity to re-stock their pantries and buy early holiday gifts. Along with the popular displays of large and small animals, always a hit with youngsters, this year's event also featured a demonstration of the "Quick Tank" Aquaculture Systems, developed at UVI, that grow tilapia fish while producing plants.

The first-ever coal pot lighting contest, designed to provide an entertaining cultural and historical perspective, drew four enthusiastic contestants and was won by Kingsley Saunders.

Another new effort, a youth cell phone "texting" competition, attracted lots of interest. The competition was suggested, organized and conducted by the local youth groups Environmental Rangers and Sankofa Saturdays. It was won by Lukata Samuel. Each competitor was required to answer questions about the Fair, and compose and send the answers in text messages of 140 characters or less. The messages also had to be written in complete sentences, and without abbreviations.

Click to view more photos from the 2012 Agriculture and Food Fair

Complete List of 2012 St. Thomas/St. John Agriculture and Food Fair Winners

Farmers of the Year

Charles Leonard - crop

Nathaniel Tuitt - livestock

Best Tasting Sweet Bread

1st Place - Ellen Murraine

2nd Place - Theresa Davis

3rd Place - Christal Powell

Coal Pot Lighting

1st Place - Kingsley Saunders

Youth Cell Phone Texting

Lukata Samuel

Tekur Ludvig

Kimio Andrews

Livestock Category Winners

Sheep

1st Place - Cyril LaPlace

2nd Place - Etienne Frett

3rd Place - Lionel Boschulte

Goat

1st Place - Lionel Boschulte

2nd Place - Etienne Frett

3rd Place - Lawrence Boschulte

Rabbit

1st Place - Joel Connors

2nd Place - Lawrence Boschulte

3rd Place - Lawrence Boschulte

Poultry-Commercial

1st Place - Etienne Frett

2nd Place - Joel Connors

Cattle-Beef

1st Place - Henry Richards

Swine

1st Place - Garry Pemberton

2nd Place - Lawrence Boschulte

Poultry-Waterfowl

1st Place - Lawrence Boschulte

2nd Place - Lawrence Boschulte

3rd Place - Lawrence Boschulte

The 2012 Fair also featured container gardening displays, composting workshops and tree grafting demonstrations. Entertainment was provided by DJ Ubba and Ah We Band, with dancing by the St. Thomas Heritage Dancers. Children's games and pony rides were available both days. During the opening ceremony, members of the CYFAR - Children and Families at Risk - after school youth program recited the 4-H motto, pledge and song.

The UVI Cooperative Extension Service 4-H Program conducted a food drive on both days. Food collected was donated to Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army.

The St. Thomas/St. John Agriculture and Food Fair is sponsored by the University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service (CES) and the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture, with support from Fintrac. For more information contact the CES office at (340) 693-1080.