Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Connecting with Consumers at the Petting Zoo

Rural makes connection with urban this week at the Benton County Fair in Northwest Arkansas. It's a gathering place that preserves our county's rich agricultural history and educates the public about agriculture in our now urbanized area. The fair actually begins its 107th year tomorrow but the fairgrounds was buzzing with activity late this afternoon as trucks and livestock trailers pulled up to the barn to bring the assortment of animals that will be shown by 4-H and FFA members through the week. You could feel the excitement in the air and the anticipation of that possible blue ribbon as the kids moved their animals into the barn!

My sons were kind enough to help me this afternoon to get ready for the fair by setting up the Benton County Farm Bureau Petting Zoo. I'll be unloading my livestock tomorrow in the petting zoo. Our zoo will include baby chicks,a dairy calf, a baby pig,a lamb and a goat. Because most consumers are three generations from having any connection to a farm, providing the petting zoo is a great way to share information about agriculture while having a fun family experience. It's up to the two percent of us who work in agriculture to share how we care for our animals and work to produce safe,affordable food.

More information about our fair can be found at http://www.bentoncountyfairar.org/. I'm looking forward to all those smiles I will see this week and the chance to talk a little about Benton County agriculture!

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