Frances Gould, Tarifa, Todd, McCallum, Elma Sue, Merrill, Thomas A.
News Release Distributed 03/23/10
The LSU AgCenter’s AgMagic, an event focused on teaching young people about the role of agriculture in their daily lives, will be presented April 19-25 at Parker Coliseum in Baton Rouge.
AgMagic provides an opportunity for children and adults to understand that food, clothing, lumber and other products all are part of the complex agricultural system. It also shows them the important connections among agriculture, the environment and their lives.
“AgMagic is in its seventh year and continues to excite and inform young people about agriculture,” said Dr. Bill Richardson, chancellor of the LSU AgCenter. “We hope young people will leave AgMagic with a new appreciation of Louisiana agriculture and knowledge that will help them in their everyday lives.
“We also want them to have a fun, interactive experience. It is a great event that offers something for the entire family,” he continued.
Admission to the event is free, and it’s open for scheduled school group tours April 19-23. AgMagic is open to the public on the weekend of April 24-25 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
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 to exhibits designed to help children learn about forestry, aquatic life and more. Children also will be invited to make leaf prints, animal tracks and insect rubbings.
“Agriculture touches all of our lives, and AgMagic is designed to help visitors see the connections between the crops in the fields and the products on the shelves in their grocery stores,” said Dr. Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor and director of extension. “It also helps them understand the abundance of resources in Louisiana and the vital role agriculture plays in our economy.”
Among the interactive exhibits at AgMagic:
–"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 livestock industry provides. Children also will have an 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 and offer an opportunity for a “walk through the forest.” 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 and to visit with Smokey Bear.
–The Louisiana 4-H section will highlight the youth development program and its “learn by doing” philosophy. Young people can learn about ATV safety and Louisiana’s wetlands. Louisiana 4-H is an educational program of the LSU AgCenter designed to help young people develop leadership, citizenship and life skills.
–The popular “Bugs Rule” area will demonstrate the role insects play in agriculture and the environment. It lets participants view bugs up close and has a small greenhouse filled with plants and butterflies. Young people can see mosquitoes, hissing cockroaches and other interesting specimens. It’s also the place where kids will be invited to do insect or bug rubbings.
–A new section in AgMagic is “Farm Gate to Dinner Plate.” Children will be introduced to food science and can learn about bad bacteria. They also will have an opportunity to help build a “pizza” using Louisiana agricultural products.
In addition to those exhibits, the "Body Walk," an interactive educational exhibit designed to combat childhood obesity, will be available in the 4-H Mini Farm adjacent to Parker Coliseum. 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."
A weekend feature dubbed “Bug an Entomologist” also will be open for the public April 24-25. It will feature insect experts from the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum, who will be there to answer all your “buggy” questions. Families are encouraged to bring insect samples, photographs or questions that may stump the experts.
Tours for school groups and other groups must be scheduled in advance. Dates and times available for group tours are between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day from April 19 through April 23.
To obtain more information or to schedule a tour, visit www.lsuagcenter.com/AgMagic or phone 225-578-2196.