Good afternoon growers! The committee that makes the decisions regarding our weigh-off rules and structure would like your input. We are considering the possibility of not affiliating our Sunday weigh-off with the GPC and want to be sure we make the right decision.
A little back history for your information:
Prior to 2008 our Sunday weigh-off was entitled "regional" and allowed only growers from Huron, Bruce or Grey Counties. At that time, the GPC approached us regarding our stats being entered from both days into their database when really only Saturday entries should have been included. Currently, our stats are entered into the GPC as two separate events so this does not improve our top-ten average, which was the original complaint - having duplicate entries from the same grower in the GPC database for the same weigh-off. This was due to confusion on the part of the staff at Pumpkinfest at that time, it is very clear to the current staff that only GPC entries would count towards GPC prizes and recognition.
Another thing we considered when deciding to open the Sunday weigh-off to GPC entries was the fact that, at that time, there were only three Ontario GPC weigh-offs: Port Elgin, Pembroke and Wellington. Since then, Woodbridge and Erin Fair have both been granted GPC status. We thought we may be able to alleviate the difficulty of being eligible for the GPC Master Grower award by offering two separate sites for weighing within a close proximity. With the addition of these other GPC sites this no longer seems to be a problem for the Ontario growers. We also have found that most growers interested in GPC prize money and recognition are still attending the Saturday event only.
Thirdly, we have had complaints from local (let's call them "smaller") growers that do not feel they can compete at the international level and have stopped coming to our Sunday event because of this. Moving forwards, we do not intend to return to the regional restrictions (everyone will still be welcome), but we do feel that we might entice the "little" guy to come back if he isn't so threatened by the feel of international competition.
Finally, GPC dues are $300 and, in our case, we are paying that twice ($600). We think that $300 could be better distributed to the growers in another way at the event.
As said at the opening of this post, we do not want to make this decision without being informed about how you, the majority of the growers, feel. If you have input, please either respond here or, if you prefer to keep your comments private please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
or alternately, if you do not wish to share your input with me either you can email our Chamber of Commerce General Manager at email@example.com
. Thanks for taking the time to read this post and supply us with your thoughts.