CSU Students Man Ag Adventure at Children’s Ranchland Exhibit at National Western Stock Show

A Colorado State University student-run program that introduces all aspects of agriculture to elementary-aged children is once again on display at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. The Ag Adventure at Children’s Ranchland exhibit includes hands-on displays from a variety of commodity groups and trade organizations.

The collaboration on the newly redesigned exhibit includes the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado Farm Bureau and commodity groups representing beef, dairy, eggs, potatoes, corn, wheat and honey producers.

Ag Adventure at Children’s Ranchland 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.

The idea behind the exhibit is an outgrowth of an annual event that the CSU College of Agricultural Sciences participates with the Poudre School District in Fort Collins. Each fall, Poudre School District third-graders tour CSU’s Agricultural Research, Development and Education Center, located just north of Fort Collins.

The Ag Adventure at Children’s Ranchland exhibit at the National Western Stock Show will involve about 20,000 school-aged children from around the Denver-metro area. Guided tours are offered during busy school days, but self-guided tours are also available during off-hours.

“This is designed to raise the awareness of agriculture in everyday lives,” said Marshall Frasier, an agricultural and resource economics professor at Colorado State and advisor of the Ag Adventure exhibit. “Plus, it might spark an interest in agriculture in some of these kids.”

Will Nelson, a CSU junior from Windsor, Colo. majoring in agricultural education, is coordinating the Ag Adventure at Children’s Ranchland exhibit. Nelson said the redesigned booth and hands-on displays encourage more involvement. “The exhibit is a testament to the hard work of 20-25 CSU students, plus our volunteers from the Future Farmers of America group,” Nelson said. “We hope that this will continue to be an educational and interactive exhibit for the next 20 years.”

The Ag Adventure at Children’s Ranchland exhibit is currently in full swing at the 2010 National Western Stock Show, which continues through Sunday, Jan. 24. The exhibit is located on the third floor of the Hall of Education.