There are more reasons than ever before to visit the Glass Barn at the Indiana State Fair this year. Built and operated by the Indiana Soybean Alliance, the Glass Barn is a showcase for soybeans and soybean producers and users. The theme in the building since day one has been using technology to display information about modern soybean production and agriculture in an interactive, positive way.
Hannah Vorsilak, director of education and training for ISA, is the brains behind new exhibits and a makeover of the Glass Barn this year. If you’re attending the fair, put the Glass Barn on your list of things to see. It’s on the north side of the track on the fairgrounds.
One new display features information about water quality that will be useful to both rural and urban visitors. An interactive map lights up to illustrate the boundaries of the various key watersheds in Indiana. It allows you to discover where water flows in your area. It also makes the point that what farmers do in watersheds in the northern part of the state to improve water quality, such as raising cover crops, impacts water quality in watersheds downstream in the southern half of Indiana.
The other new key display this year consists of six panels in a 360-degree display — three pairs of panels. Each pair shows a use for soybeans. One of the panels explains how the use was invented. Parents can read and explain this to their kids. The other panel includes working parts and “soybeans” that move from field to home, or from top to bottom in the display, as kids turn knobs and twist wheels to make things happen. Products featured include soy foods and soybean crayons.
“We wanted it to be interactive for kids, yet educational for parents,” Vorsilak says. “The company that builds these displays for us said these were the first of their kind that they had ever built.”
The Corteva Agriscience Featured Farmers visit the Glass Barn each day for a question-and-answer session with fairgoers at 2:30 p.m. The Indiana State Fair runs Aug. 3-19 in Indianapolis.