Interactive features and the state's farmers and ranchers will greet thousands of fairgoers as they visit Agriland at this year's Kansas State Fair. The hands-on agriculture display is one of the most popular stops during the annual statewide event, which opens Friday and runs through Sept. 16 in Hutchinson.
Located in the Pride of Kansas building a young person can milk a cow, climb into a combine cab, sit on a saddle and walk through a soil tunnel. The interactions are designed to give youth and adults a hands-on, true-to-life farm and ranch experience. Agriland is the perfect stop for teachers and school groups because of the interactive exhibits and take-home information.
This year, Agriland guests will receive baseball cards featuring Kansas farmers. Kansas Corn Commissioner Ken McCauley's family is pictured on one of the cards with details about their farm operation in White Cloud. The 13 cooperating agricultural organizations are listed on the back of the card.
In addition, the Peterson Brothers, a family who produced the viral video "I'm Farming and I Grow It Video" will be at Agriland from 2 to 6 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 9. The Peterson brothers farm and ranch near Assaria. Those who visit the Peterson brothers at the State Fair will receive photo card that can be autographed by the boys.
The Kansas Corn Commission (KCC) and Kansas Corn Growers Association have been a partner in Agriland since its creation in 1994. Jere White, Kansas Corn executive director, says Agriland is a source of pride among agriculture groups, showcasing the work of farmers and ranchers across the state. It is also a tradition for the many families who attend the State Fair. Agriland remains a popular and must-see feature for numerous school groups and families.
"It is more important than ever for kids to understand something about agriculture," White said. "Agriland reaches a lot of adults as well. If we can engage folks for a few minutes with tangible activities and interaction with producers, we just might plant a seed with our consumers. And that benefits all of us."
Agriland is staffed by organization and commodity volunteers who give their time to speak with and teach the more than 300,000 people who attend the fair each year. For more information on fair events visit: www.kansasstatefair.com.