If you'll be attending the Iowa State Fair this year, be sure to visit "Farmville" in the Agriculture Building. The Iowa State Fair runs from August 12 through 22 at the state fairgrounds in Des Moines.
This new display is a joint effort between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and six of Iowa's agriculture commodity groups. "Farmville" will provide fairgoers with information resources and samples of food and other Iowa ag products and also includes a live stage to showcase the important role of agriculture in Iowa.
"As part our effort to educate fair visitors about Iowa agriculture we will have a wide variety of presentations and demonstrations on the stage in this new display, including an opportunity to ask a farmer questions each afternoon," says Bill Northey, Iowa secretary of agriculture. "The Iowa State Fair is a great place to learn about all that is happening in Iowa agriculture, and we believe this new display will be a great addition to all the other activities of the fair."
Each day special events will be happening on "Farmville" stage
Each day live on the "Farmville stage," Northey will speak to fairgoers and answer questions at 9:00 a.m. At 11:00 a.m. visitors will be given the opportunity to play "Battle in the Barn" and the "Ask a Farmer" session will occur at 2:00 p.m. each day. The stage is located on the west side of the Agriculture building.
In addition, many other aspects of agriculture will be featured on the stage throughout the fair, including topics such as water conservation, the Farm-to-School Program, and invasive pests such as Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).
Samples and information will also be available from Iowa Soybean Association, the Iowa Egg Council, Midwest Dairy Association, Iowa Turkey Federation, Iowa Pork Producers, and the Iowa Beef Industry Council, which are all joining the state agriculture department in sponsoring "Farmville."
Also visit other ag exhibits, see Century Farms award ceremony
"With all these activities and information, 'Farmville' will have something for everyone," Northey says. "I hope as people come out to the State Fair they will take time to stop by the Ag Building and learn a little more about agriculture here in Iowa. In addition to participating in "Farmville," the state ag department will also have a booth in the Varied Industries building that will educate Iowans about the department and continue the tradition of weighing fairgoers on a scale certified by the Iowa Department of Agriculture's Weights and Measures Bureau.
Century Farms, those that have been in the same family for 100 years, and Heritage Farms, which have been owned by the same family for 150 years, will also be recognized at the State Fair again this year. The program for both Century and Heritage Farms will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 17 on the Budweiser stage, just south of the Grand Avenue entrance to the state fairgrounds. These Century and Heritage Farm awards are sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Farm Bureau.
On Friday, August 20 the state ag department will be recognizing the winners of the 2008-2009 From the Farm to You Calendar drawing contest in the Agriculture Building. Kids from across the state submitted pictures for the calendar. Copies of the calendar are available to fairgoers at the agriculture department's booth in the Varied Industries Building.