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AgFest aims to give back to ag workers after difficult harvest

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Free french fries at AgFest. | Courtesy AgFest

IDAHO FALLS — Late planting and an early frost have made harvest season difficult for farmers and agricultural workers. AgFest hopes to recognize them for their hard work.

This Saturday, Oct. 19 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Pinecrest Event Center in Idaho Falls, agricultural workers and their families will be treated to live entertainment, raffle prizes, vendors, free french fries and more at the 2019 AgFest.

“We have all these ag workers that contribute to the success of our community. Let’s acknowledge them. Let’s show appreciation to them and let’s help them improve their lifestyles,” Taylor and Son’s CEO Phil Simpson told EastIdahoNews.com.

AgFest is a nonprofit organization started by local farmer Carl Taylor and his wife Linda. Simpson said they started the nonprofit to thank their workers and help them better their lives. He said other farmers and ranchers quickly jumped on the idea.

“It’s a way for growers to give back to their employees who contribute to Idaho’s most important business which is agriculture,” Simpson said.

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On top of food, games and other activities, AgFest offers resources to ag workers. Simpson said there are more than 20 booths containing higher education information, GED programs, health and wellness information. The Mexican Consulate will also be there for ag workers from Mexico.

This year AgFest is also awarding five $1,000 scholarships to the children of ag workers. Raffle prizes include a Traeger Smoker, a Nintendo Switch, a 65 inch Samsung TV and much more.

Simpson said every year the North Bingham Library gives away around 1,000 books to kids for free.

Free fresh french fries are served throughout the event and Simpson said over the last three years, more than 6,000 pounds of french fries and over 15 gallons of fry sauce have been distributed at AgFest.

“The local farmers and growers — they cook all the french fries and serve them up. They’re all free. You can eat all the fries you want,” Simpson said.

The event is free to ag workers and their families with a pay stub as proof of employment. They’ll also get a free meal coupon.

Tickets are $7 per person for the general public or $25 for a family.

“The thing I love about this is it’s just upbeat, it’s positive and it’s just a family-oriented environment. Everyone that comes – they just feel good about themselves,” Simpson said.

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