Elma Sue Mccallum, Merrill, Thomas A., Dumas, Terry L. | 3/11/2006 3:54:31 AM
News Release Distributed 03/10/06
The LSU AgCenter will bring the "magic" of agriculture back to its Parker Coliseum in Baton Rouge April 24-30.
Known as "AgMagic," the successful event is in its third year. It is designed to help children and adults understand that food, clothing, lumber and other products all are part of the agricultural system.
It will be offered for scheduled school group tours from April 24-28 but will also be open to the public from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. April 29-30.
"All of our departments are contributing to help the public, and especially children, understand where their food comes from and what agriculture is all about," LSU AgCenter Chancellor Bill Richardson said.
This year’s events will feature a new section, dubbed "Bugs Rule," which will demonstrate the role insects play in agriculture and the environment. That section will include magnifying lenses to allow participants to view bugs up close, and there will be a greenhouse filled with plants and butterflies.
Other additions will show the growing stages of plants from seeds to maturity, and there will be new games designed to help children learn about farming, aquatic life and plants.
"AgMagic will take children and adults through a journey of Louisiana agriculture and economically beneficial commodities they use every day," LSU AgCenter Vice Chancellor Paul Coreil said. "The AgMagic experience will be an interactive, visually stimulating environment that will link food and fiber products to the forests, field crops and livestock produced by Louisiana farmers, ranchers and forest landowners."
In addition to "Bugs Rule," other sections in the interactive exhibits that will be offered include:
"Animals Produce For You" will be an educational area that includes chickens, pigs, goats, sheep, dairy cattle and beef cattle. It will give participants a chance to see what animals eat and the products provided by the livestock industry. There also will be scheduled demonstrations on sheep shearing and milking a cow, as well as the opportunity to see eggs hatch in an incubator.
"Plant Products" will include a look at cotton, rice and sugarcane from seeds to mature plants. It also will provide a look at how vegetables are grown and how insects contribute to the process. Specialized educational signs will allow visitors to learn about the origin of products they consume, such as that ketchup is made from tomatoes.
"Farming the Waters" will feature catfish, crawfish, alligators, turtles and ornamental fish, such as koi. Viewing stations will allow visitors to see both habitats and products, and visitors will learn how you "farm" aquatic life.
The "World of Wonder" will focus on forests, forest products and wildlife. The exhibit will illustrate in a natural-type setting the abundance of natural resources found in our state. Visitors will learn what it takes to protect our environment and that the forest products industry is the largest agricultural segment in Louisiana. This exhibit also will include a chance for visitors to view the root system of a tree, as well as a portable saw mill.
In addition to those exhibits, the "Body Walk," an interactive educational exhibit designed to combat childhood obesity, also will be available April 29-30. Sponsored by the LSU AgCenter and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, it is part of an overall program known as "Smart Bodies."
Tours for school groups and other groups must be scheduled in advance. Dates and times available for group tours are between 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. from April 24 through April 28. To accommodate after-school groups, hours will be extended on April 25 and April 27 until 5:30 p.m.
To obtain more information or to schedule a tour, visit www.lsuagcenter.com/AgMagic or phone (225) 578-2196.