Fairfield Ledger

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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 16, 2018

Iowa State Fair offers ag education

Jul 18, 2017
Courtesy of: IOWA STATE FAIR A newborn calf sleeps peacefully surrounded by intrigued young fairgoers.

DES MOINES — Agricultural education is a highlight at the Iowa State Fair. From baby animals to food production and more, you will find plenty of exciting activities to learn more about Iowa’s important agriculture industry.

Just east of the John Deere Agricultural Building is the Fun Forest Stage featuring Blue Ribbon Kids’ Club. Blue Ribbon Kids’ events are every weekday at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Activities include make-and take-crafts for kids based around day-specific themes such as Iowa’s poultry industry, salute to Iowa’s farmer’s and “My Family’s Corn Farm.”

The Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center is a short walk from Hy-Vee Fun Forest. Discover more about how farmers use different egg production systems to produce safe and wholesome food, as hens take up residence to showcase a modern housing system. Check out the new birthing videos explaining the basics on how some of Iowa’s baby farm animals made their way into the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center. Check out the Christensen Farms Stage featuring AG Craft Hour, Way We Live Award Presentations, daily butter sculpting, “Thank a Farmer” and many other contests.

Returning to the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center will be hatching baby chicks, ducklings and baby ostriches. Fairgoers also can see Thank A Farmer Magic Show, a fun, energetic and educational show that focuses on the importance and impact farming and agriculture have on daily lives.

Sign up for text alerts to receive updates on when new babies are being born, text BABY to 75782, message and data rates apply.

Located next to the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center, the Andringa Family Foundation Little Hands on the Farm is celebrating its 13th anniversary. Through the interactive adventure, kids can learn what it is like to do chores on a farm and earn play money to spend at the grocery store.

The Boulevard of Dairy Breeds in the John and Emily Putney Family Cattle Barn will focus on the six main breeds of dairy cattle in Iowa with hands-on activities, cattle, baby calves and the favorite, “I Milked a Cow” display. Be sure to check out the public milkings daily at 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. in the renovated milking parlor.

Stop by the Maytag Family Theaters every day at 1 p.m. to see the film “Food Evolution” brought to you by the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation. Food Evolution is set amid a brutally polarized debate marked by fear, distrust and confusion: the controversy surrounding GMOs and food.

Make memories your kids will never forget with the Grape Getaway and the Ag-Venture Discovery Trail. The Grape Getaway is daily across from Grandfather’s Barn starting at 9 a.m., and pick up your map for the Ag-Venture Discovery Trail at any information booth.

For information or how to register for the Blue Ribbon Kids’ Club, contact Emily Wynn at 515-262-3111, Ext. 244 or ewynn@iowastatefair.org.

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