A new exhibit at the Nebraska State Fair is connecting consumers with the farmers who raise and grow their food.
"Raising Nebraska: Your food and the families who grow it" is a permanent, year-round agriculture exhibit located in the new Nebraska Building on the Nebraska State Fairgrounds.
Its debut at this year's Nebraska State Fair at Fonner Park in Grand Island is part of an effort to educate consumers about what Nebraska is doing toward food production and feeding the world and what production agriculture looks like for Nebraska, said Beth Janning, UNL Extension educator.
Janning will be on-site year-round to manage the exhibit and work with visiting groups.
"We are hoping this exhibit allows consumers to realize that farmers are doing the best they can, using technology to produce the best food in the state for our consumers," Janning said. "We hope consumers will realize the 'farm to fork' process and that our producers care about the food they raise and the animals they care for."
Raising Nebraska not only tells the story of the state's No. 1 industry, but also explores agricultural research, production and innovation. The learning experience includes a wide range of interactive displays. It features a full-sized pivot-irrigation system, a video theater enclosed in a grain bin, a 50-foot-long floor map of Nebraska, a virtual combine ride, an interactive dinner table and other educational experiences.
"All the exhibits are interactive," Janning said. "They also show the science involved with agriculture and showcase what Nebraska agriculture is really about and what we do best. We raise high quality crops and livestock to provide the food, feed and fiber for the world."
While it makes its debut at the 2014 Nebraska State Fair, Janning said the exhibit is also available throughout the year for school groups, trade teams and other visitors by appointment. It will be open to tour on Tuesdays from 9 to 11 a.m. and Thursdays from 2 to 4 p.m. following the fair. Programs focused on science and Nebraska agriculture are available by appointment.
In addition, the exhibit is looking for volunteers with a passion about Nebraska agriculture to spend some occasional time in the building during the rest of the year, Janning said. Anyone interested, can contact the office.
For more information, go to http://www.raisingnebraska.net.
Raising Nebraska is a collaborative effort of the Nebraska State Fair, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.