If you’ve visited the Indiana State Fair during the past few years and walked through the Indiana FFA Pavilion on the north side of the fairgrounds, you should have noticed a house under construction before your eyes. In fact, last year and this year, you may have thought you were seeing double. Two houses have been built during the fair.
Dow AgroSciences is one of the companies that supports Habitat for Humanity's Ag Build project. Volunteers erect two houses during the fair. Later, they’re moved with large trucks to the site where a receptive family either has property or wants to live.
“We’re happy to be part of this effort,” says Kenda Resler-Friend, a spokeswoman for Dow AgroSciences, based in Indianapolis. “They take this volunteer effort seriously.”
In fact, one day during the fair was designated as a day for Dow AgroSciences employees to work on the houses.
“This is the only state fair in the country where two houses are built during the fair and then transported to their permanent location after the fair,” Resler-Friend notes.
Big ag companies aren’t the only ones that donate materials or send people to help build the houses. Construction from the ground up happens during the fair. Several Indiana cooperatives came together this year to man a full day building one of the houses.
This group specifically worked on the "Green" project house. Volunteers bring various talents and skills to the job.
The co-ops working on the "Green" house during their designated day at the fair included Harvest Land Co-op based in Richmond, North Central Co-op located in the north-central part of the state, and Ceres Solutions, which is based in Crawfordsville but covers a large portion of western and southwestern Indiana.
A large national co-op with Indiana ties, Land O’Lakes, and the Indiana AgriInstitute helped line up these co-ops to be a part of the project this year.
The future homeowners are required to invest sweat equity during the building project. Other ag companies participated in the building process on various days. The homes will be moved by trucks to their permanent sites soon.
Laurel Mann contributed to this story. She writes for Ceres Solutions and is based in Crawfordsville.