AgEcon/NAMA Club Continues to Provide AgExperience for State Fairgoers
Farm Business Management Update, December 2001
By Dixie Watts Reaves, Allison McNett, and Alyssa Ennis
For the fourth consecutive year, the AgEcon/NAMA Club teamed with Atlantic Rural Exposition and a number of sponsors from the agribusiness industry to provide an educational and interactive agricultural exhibit for state fairgoers. The 2001 exhibit, located in the Old Dominion Livestock Center and entitled the AgExperience, was co-chaired by Agricultural and Applied Economics students Allison McNett and Alyssa Ennis. With the assistance of many other club members, they created an educational display that focused on both crop and animal agriculture in Virginia. During the ten days of the fair, over 20 different Virginia Tech students and faculty members greeted fairgoers at the educational booth. Dressed in bright orange polo shirts and called "Ag Ambassadors," these individuals provided fairgoers with basic agricultural facts about Virginia and U.S. agriculture.
The AgExperince was included in the 2001 educational exposition field trip planning guide and was well-received by both students and teachers. Pamphlets that provide additional information on agricultural commodities and forest management were available and well-received by many adults visiting the booth.
This year's booth utilized the theme Agriculture: The Salad Bowl of America. With a large salad bowl display as a visual aid, Ag Ambassadors taught booth visitors about different salad ingredients (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, ham, turkey, cheese, and croutons), including where they are grown in Virginia and how important they are to Virginia's agricultural industry. To further indicate the diversity of agriculture in Virginia, a large cut-out of the State displayed pictures of commodities in the areas where they are most prevalent in the Commonwealth.
The biggest draw of the AgExperience exhibit was a hands-on activity geared to youth but enjoyed by fairgoers of all ages. Building on the concept of sand art, fairgoers created their own grain art in plastic honey jars, which they could take home as AgExperience souvenirs. Ingredients for this year's grain art included corn, wheat, soybeans, peanuts, and cottonseed. Over 6,000 grain art jars were created by fairgoers during the ten days of the fair. As they prepared to leave the exhibit, visitors were provided with a sticker declaring, "I'm AgExperienced!" with a picture of the Virginia Tech Hokie Bird driving a tractor. Additionally, fairgoers were provided with informational brochures (containing data provided by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) with the AgExperience logo and Hokie Bird picture on the front and a list of sponsors on the back. Sponsors for the 2001 Ag Experience were
|Platinum (at least $5,000):||Virginia Farm Bureau Federation|
|Silver ($1,000 - $2,499):||Virginia Agribusiness Council|
|Orange ($1 - $499):||Cooperative Milk Producers Association|
|Virginia Council of Farmer Cooperatives|
|Virginia Poultry Federation|
|Virginia Young Farmers Association|
|Virginia State Dairymen's Association|
|Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics|
The exhibit included a sponsor display board where these organizations were recognized for their contribution to the 2001 AgExperience. For additional information about the AgExperience, or to become involved next year, contact Dixie Reaves by email at email@example.com or by telephone at (540) 231-6153.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Virginia Cooperative Extension