Berks Agricultural Resource Network kicks off B.A.R.N.OPOLY challenge

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Jun. 29—To kick off a summer full of delicious local food, Berks Agricultural Resource Network (B.A.R.N.) kicked off its B.A.R.N.OPOLY challenge Monday at Rose Lawn Bistro in Exeter Township.

Berks County Commissioner Michael Rivera; Bill Evans, on behalf of state Sen. Judy Schwank; and sponsor Scott Hauseman of Fulton Bank joined the celebration, acknowledging that Pennsylvania ranks second in direct farm product sales in the nation and the importance the local food supply has on supporting small businesses and strengthening our Berks County communities.

The two-month challenge encourages shoppers to pick up a game board at participating locations and to visit each of the 39 farms, stores and restaurants throughout the county, earning a stamp or sticker at each.

The challenge runs through Aug. 20, at which time registered participants email a photo of their completed (or mostly completed) card to B.A.R.N. to earn prizes. Prizes are donated by the participating farms and stores, including gift certificates, honey, shirts and experiences including a farm to table dinner.

Horizon Farm Credit, Fulton Bank and Ephrata National Banks provided donations to make B.A.R.N.OPOLY possible.

During the kick-off celebration, B.A.R.N. Marketing Committee Chair Jodi Gauker suggested the following challenges while enjoying the travels and good food around Berks County:

—Enjoy a meal out, and then use local ingredients you pick up during stops to recreate the meal at home

—Buy something for or to share with your pet

—Document your journey and make lots of memories.