A Colorado State University student-run program that introduces all aspects of agriculture to elementary-aged children is on the road at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. A scaled-down version of the Ag Adventure program is currently in full swing at the 2009 National Western Stock Show, which continues through Sunday, Jan. 25th. Ag Adventure teaches school groups and other visitors about livestock production, crop production, animal husbandry, land stewardship and the "farm-to-plate" process through a series of hands-on activities.
Last year was the inaugural year for Ag Adventure at the National Western Stock Show. The efforts resulted in educational opportunities for hundreds of thousands of visitors who traveled through the Stock Show during the 16-day event. In 2008, the Ag Adventure booth won the "Most Educational Display."
"In our first year working with the Ag Adventure program, the National Western was highly impressed by the motivation, professionalism and passion that the CSU students had for their industry," said Angie Cue, senior manager of Commercial Exhibits at the National Western Stock Show. "We look forward to building a strong relationship with the Ag Adventure program in the future."
The Ag Adventure program is embarking on its 9th year overall. Every fall, nearly 1,700 third graders from more than 30 different elementary schools come to the Colorado State Agricultural Research and Development Education Center, or ARDEC, to take part in the adventure. More than 100 Colorado State students coordinate the program each year.
Agricultural and Resource Economics professor Marshall Frasier serves as adviser to the student group that organizes the program. "Ag Adventure upholds two missions of a land-grant university: education and outreach," Frasier said.
The Ag Adventure booth at the 2009 National Western Stock Show is open to the public on the 3rd Floor, Hall of Education. The booth houses five different stations with age-appropriate, interactive lessons on agriculture.