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Event supports local products, ag students
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The Stanislaus County Fairgrounds will be flowing with wine and cheese on Thursday as the 11th annual Tastes of the Valley is held to help benefit students in the Agricultural Studies program at California State University, Stanislaus.

With only local selections of wine and cheese, the event is expected to draw in hundreds who are interested in tasting some of the products made in the Central Valley.

“The event just gets bigger every year,” said Melanie Myers, administrative coordinator at CSU Stanislaus. “Our valley is number one in the world for milk, cheese and ag production, which has a huge impact on the rest of the world. This event is kind of our way of embracing that, and celebrating it.”

The evening will include local wine and cheese samples, small plates, a silent auction, and a selection of local vendors.

“Not only is the wine and cheese local, but all of the restaurants and vendors that will be there as well,” said Myers. “I’m a sixth generation Turlocker, and it’s just neat to see how things have progressed here.”

Funds from the event help provide scholarships for the Agricultural Studies program at CSU Stanislaus, which currently serves approximately 90 students. Students from the program will be at the event, helping serve the various selections of wine and cheese available.

“This event also has a lot to do with the help of the alumni giving back to the program,” said Myers. “A lot of times they’ll either get sponsorships for the event, or donate prizes for the raffle. It’s definitely a way for them to give back to the program they came from; so it’s a beautiful thing.”

While the event is in its 11th year, this is the second year it has been hosted at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds after the CSU Stanislaus Ag Studies program created a partnership with the Friends of the Fair Foundation.

“We’ll be out there all week decorating; it’s going to be huge,” said Myers. “We always look forward to it.”

The Tastes of the Valley Wine and Cheese Tasting will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Oct.3 at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds located at 900 N. Broadway in the E2 building. Tickets are $35 per person and can be purchased by calling the fairgrounds at 668-1333.