The LSU AgCenter will present AgMagic beginning Oct. 25 at the State Fair of Louisiana in Shreveport, showcasing the impact agriculture has on daily life through hands-on activities to delight both youth and adult visitors.
Eight interactive exhibits will explore plant and animal production, feature agricultural product development and marketing, and allow visitors to experience agriculture from farm to table while learning more about nutrition, health and safety.
“AgMagic is an important event for this area, offering an enriching educational experience for students to learn about agriculture while increasing the outreach of the AgCenter by supporting a significant community effort at the state fair,” said Patrick Colyer, AgCenter Northwest Region director.
The event will host more than 3,200 school children in grades 3-6 from northwest Louisiana schools during four school tour days scheduled for Nov. 1, 2, 8 and 9. Registration is available online at www.lsuagcenter.com/agmagic or through the State Fair of Louisiana website.
“AgMagic is always an exciting time for us, with more than 300 AgCenter research and Extension staff together with community volunteers working to prepare and conduct the educational programs for the three-week fair run,” said Karen Martin, AgCenter Northwest Region 4-H coordinator.
As agriculture is the No. 1 industry in Louisiana, Martin said, the goal of AgMagic is to increase awareness of the economic importance and relevance of agriculture to all state fair visitors.
AgMagic is located in the Agriculture Building in the state fairgrounds and is open to the public through the duration of the fair, which runs from Oct. 25 through Nov. 11. Visitors are invited to take a self-guided tour anytime between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Teen 4-H volunteers will be on hand during many of the public tour days to guide and engage visitors, said Katherine Pace, Caddo Parish 4-H agent.
AgCenter experts preparing for the event expect to increase the number of stationary exhibits this year.
Visitors will enter the livestock area at AgMagic through an old barn façade and participate in activities to learn more about animal protein sources.
The exhibit will have a miniature broiler house, a live broiler chick display and an interactive corn hole livestock trivia game among other educational presentations.
Visitors can also view a series of video segments featuring 4-H, farming and home gardening. The videos will feature commodity production from crawfish to cotton, offer horticulture tips from AgCenter expert Dan Gill and present a variety of industry-related news features by the AgCenter, Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation and national agriculture organizations.
Garden facsimiles will show two crop demonstrations: live popcorn plants that represent a niche commodity market and a hydroponic vegetable production system.
Guests can see insect specimens, make bug rubbings and learn about mosquitoes in the environment in the entomology exhibit.
A model truck made from canned foods and an eye-opening food waste display are in the food systems exhibit.
During school tours, students will experience agriculture by moving through each stage of the food supply system — from harvest to processing, distribution, acquisition and consumption.
School groups taking part in the prescheduled day tours will have a chance to kick up their heels and get their hearts pumping with western-style line-dancing while learning about the importance of exercise and fitness.
They also can look forward to visiting a farm animal petting zoo.
Visitors will experience an outdoor environment in the wildlife station, learn about the timber industry related to honeybees in the wild and study pond management in a simulated pond environment stocked with common species of fish.
In a backyard bait-casting simulation, students will get to practice fishing skills and learn about water safety.
The State Fair of Louisiana offers free parking and gate admission for AgMagic each weekday until 3 p.m.
Karen Martin can be reached at 318-927-2578 or [email protected]
Katherine Pace can be reached at 318-226-6805 or [email protected]