Linda Benedict | 9/28/2011 7:35:44 PM
News Release Distributed 09/28/11
SHREVEPORT, La. – Do you think food, clothing, lumber and other products only come from a store? Come to AgMagic at the State Fair to see and learn where your food and fiber really come from.
AgMagic will take children and adults on a journey through Louisiana agriculture.
“The AgMagic experience will be an interactive, visually stimulating environment that will link food and fiber products we use every day to the forests, field crops and livestock produced by Louisiana farmers, ranchers and forest landowners,” said Gwen Fontenot, LSU AgCenter agent in Natchitoches Parish.
Featured crops in various stages of development will be on display and highlight the importance of interactions between agriculture, the environment and people, she said.
AgMagic is open to the public for self-guided tours Oct. 27 to Nov. 13.
Guided tours for school groups (third- through sixth-graders) will take place Nov. 9-11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The animal area will focus on livestock and poultry production. “We will relate to the kids that our food is coming from a farm before it gets to the grocery store,” said Gary Stockton, LSU AgCenter agent in Lincoln Parish.
Hands-on activities will give children opportunities to learn about products besides meat that come from livestock. This year’s special guest will be Elsie the Cow, and the animal area will have a mascot during the school tour day – a 6-foot white chicken.
An incubator full of eggs will start hatching on Nov. 9, Stockton said.
The row crop section will focus on the main crops produced in northwest Louisiana – corn, cotton and soybeans – said Josh Salley, LSU AgCenter agent in Red River Parish.
“There will be a cotton gin, and someone will be demonstrating how to remove the seeds from the cotton through the use of the gin,” Salley said.
Bugs will come alive in the entomology area as youth learn about honeybees and how honey is made. They also will be able to view bugs through microscopes, said LSU AgCenter entomologist Mike Hall.
In the horticulture area, children will receive Growums, a planting medium that soaks up water so seeds will grow, and hopefully survive to be transplanted to a pot when children take them home, said Michael Owen, LSU AgCenter agent in Webster Parish.
The World of Wonder area will have information, exhibits and hands-on activities on forestry, wildlife, camping, fishing and other outdoor recreation, said LSU AgCenter area forestry agent Ricky Kilpatrick. Classes for the school groups will feature hands-on activities centered on forest products and fishing.
LSU AgCenter family and consumer sciences agents will provide an educational program featuring the “Germ Cave,” an interactive “cave” where children learn about the benefits of hand-washing to avoid spreading germs and bacteria, said Joan Almond, LSU AgCenter agent in Webster Parish. The children will be given Glo Potion, a hand cream that reveals existing germs under black light.
Once they leave the exhibit, children will sanitize their hands before moving on to the next area.
A display for “My Plate” will highlight the new nutrition guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Country Market, featuring a variety of Louisiana products, also returns.
The 4-H section will include a giant beach ball toss with questions for youth to answer, said Elizabeth Lynn, LSU AgCenter agent in Bienville Parish. Other exhibits will include 4-H trivia and highlight 4-H projects and opportunities.
More information, including how to register school groups, is available online at www.lsuagcenter.com/agmagicstatefair.Mary Ann Van Osdell