Children Youth Adults Seeing Magic At LSU AgCenter Event

Terry L. Dumas, Merrill, Thomas A., Bogren, Richard C., McCallum, Elma Sue, Gould, Frances I.  |  4/26/2007 2:06:57 AM

Austin Fincher, Cody Durio and Corey Guidroz of Springfield Elementary School examine insect collections in the Bugs Rule section at AgMagic, an interactive tour of Louisiana agriculture presented April 23-29 by the LSU AgCenter. The annual event is offered to school groups on the weekdays and to the public on the weekend.

Shelby Reed, Kelyndra Anderson and Amber Sanchez of Valverda Elementary School in Pointe Coupee Parish make bug pictures by rubbing templates of insect images with crayons at AgMagic.

Calcasieu Parish 4-H volunteer leader Sharon Nabours discusses things made from Louisiana’s state tree, the baldcypress, with St. Helena Parish Middle School students in the Plant Products section of AgMagic.

News Release Distributed 04/25/07

Young people and adults are seeing the "magic" of agriculture this week at the LSU AgCenter’s AgMagic events in Baton Rouge.

Designed to help children and adults understand that food, clothing, lumber and other products all are part of the complex agricultural system, AgMagic is both educational and fun.

The April 23-29 events began with scheduled tours for school groups but will also be open to the general public Saturday and Sunday (April 28-29).

"We’re proud to present this great educational event for children and adults," Dr. Paul Coreil, vice chancellor of the LSU AgCenter, said. "It’s important for people to realize how much agriculture and forestry improves and adds value to their lives, but it’s also important for them to have fun while learning about it.

"We think AgMagic offers both of these opportunities, and we’re glad it continues to grow every year."

This year’s event boasts the largest number of school children registered for tours in the four-year history of AgMagic in Baton Rouge. Approximately 7,000 students and teachers are expected to have visited before the week ends – and hundreds more are likely to attend on the public days this weekend.

"Our faculty and staff have put together a great lineup to help the public, and especially children, understand where their food comes from and what agriculture is all about," said LSU AgCenter Chancellor Bill Richardson.

Those attending AgMagic seem to agree.

Darlene Williams, a parent with Community Christian Academy in Denham Springs, was attending for her second year.

"It’s educational, even for us," she said. "It’s really nice. I love it."

Likewise, Sarah Pittman, a parent volunteer with a group from the Baton Rouge Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, said she was a repeat visitor and that she was thankful the LSU AgCenter organizes such an event.

"I was excited to hear we were coming again," Pittman said Wednesday (April 25) during the group’s visit to AgMagic. "I learn something each time, and the kids enjoy the interactive opportunity."

The annual event features a variety of interactive exhibits that cover plants, animals, wildlife and other topics. They range from demonstrations showing the growth stages of plants from seeds to maturity to games designed to help children learn about farming, aquatic life and plants.

Visitors can see alligators, watch eggs hatch, visit the butterfly garden and walk through the brain, in the Body Walk.

In addition to these features, children will be able to take home part of their experience by participating in some of the new activities at AgMagic. They can make animal and leaf prints in the World of Wonder and learn about bugs by creating insect rubbings in the Bugs Rule area.

They also can visit with Smokey Bear and participate in other experiences in interactive areas dubbed Animals Produce for You, Plant Products and Farming the Waters.

AgMagic is going on in the Parker Coliseum on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge. It’s open to the public Saturday and Sunday (April 28-29) from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day.

To obtain more information, visit www.lsuagcenter.com/AgMagic or phone (225) 578-2196.

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Contacts:
Terry Dumas at (225) 578-2219 or tdumas@agcenter.lsu.edu
Frankie Gould at (225) 578-5679 or fgould@agcenter.lsu.edu
Elma Sue McCallum at (225) 578-2462 or emccallum@agcenter.lsu.edu
Writers:
Tom Merrill at (225) 578-5896 or tmerrill@agcenter.lsu.edu
Rick Bogren at (225) 578-2263 or rbogren@agcenter.lsu.edu

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