At the 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show, the “Today’s Agriculture” exhibit put together an “experience” – an innovative display that brings the farm to families. Today’s Agriculture, a 10,000 square foot exhibit, coordinated by PennAg Industries Association, on behalf of the Pennsylvania Alliance for Livestock Care and Well-Being and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, helped consumers understand more about how farmers feed a growing population, by opening the doors to modern livestock and crop production. Talk about being transparent!
A specially constructed 84-foot long x 42-foot wide barn allowed the public to see farm animals in their typical commercial production environment and included a crated sow with her litter, nursery pigs, finishing floor pigs, broiler chickens, caged layer hens, ducks, turkeys, feedlot steers, dairy cows and veal calves. After a self-guided barn tour, visitors could explore plots of soybeans and corn, at various stages of growth, and both cover crops and forested buffers that depict on-farm conservation practices. Just check out the map and pictures of their livestock barn:
But they didn’t just stop at showing the displays. The Animal Agriculture Alliance helped gain perspectives from consumers by surveying visitors before and after they walked through the “Today’s Agriculture” exhibit. Alliance staff recorded 32 video interviews with individuals and groups to get their feedback about the exhibit and spoke with more than 100 other visitors representing a cross-sampling of those attending the show (i.e. gender, varying ages, ethnicities).Then they gave a great take-away pamphlet (shown at right) that has awesome facts and visuals.
This is truly a testament of agriculture coming together. More than 80 agribusiness and trade associations joined forces to make Today’s Agriculture a destination exhibit at this year’s event.