A Colorado State University student-run program that introduces elementary-aged children to the science of agriculture and the sources of their food returns this year to the National Western Stock Show in Denver. The Ag Adventure exhibit includes hands-on, interactive displays from a variety of commodity groups and trade organizations.
Collaboration on the exhibit includes the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado Farm Bureau and commodity groups representing beef, dairy, sheep, wool, eggs, potatoes and vegetables, corn, grain, landscape and plants, and honey producers.
“This is a chance for our College of Ag students to work side by side with our industry partners. Not only will this expand our student’s working knowledge of agriculture, but it helps them network in an industry that they plan to work in,” said Nancy Irlbeck, associate dean in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State and adviser of the Ag Adventure exhibit.
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.
The idea behind the exhibit is an outgrowth of an annual event in which CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences participates with the Poudre School District in Fort Collins. Each fall, nearly 2,000 Poudre School District third-graders tour CSU’s Agricultural Research, Development and Education Center located north of Fort Collins.
The Ag Adventure 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 awareness of agriculture in everyday lives,” Irlbeck said. “Plus, it might spark an interest in agriculture in some of these kids.”
In all, about 70,000 people visited the exhibit last year.
The Ag Adventure exhibit is open daily from Jan. 7-22 during the 2012 National Western Stock Show. The exhibit is located on the third floor of the Hall of Education across from the Colorado State University booth at the National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt St., Denver.