By Jennifer Campbell
As part of the grand opening of the Glass Barn at the 2013 Indiana State Fair, Indiana soybean farmers were invited to visit the new exhibit building on the north side of the fairgrounds to see how their checkoff dollars were being used to educate Hoosier consumers about food and farming.
The new exhibit, Indiana Soybean Alliance's Glass Barn, has a life beyond the 17 days of the Indiana State Fair as home to a variety of educational programs offered by the Indiana State Fair staff. All of the programs focus on giving students a hands-on look at Indiana's agriculture industry.
Since August, hundreds of students have visited the Glass Barn as part of the "State's Largest Classroom" program where state fair staff incorporates the Glass Barn into its year-round educational efforts about food and farming.
On Nov. 26, the sixth grade class of Galveston Elementary School, Galveston, Ind., participated in the Exploring Biotech program thanks to Indiana farmer Dale Forgey and the Indiana Soybean Alliance. Students and teachers experienced the hands-on exhibits and discovered the journey of our food, from farm to plate.
Forgey, also of Galveston, was one of four Indiana soybean farmers to win the opportunity to give a field trip to the Glass Barn to a school class of their choice. The field trips are funded with Indiana soybean checkoff dollars through the Indiana Soybean Alliance.
Other winners include Tim and Teresa Templin, Converse, Ind., Charles and Linda Eggersman, Brownstown, Ind., and Scott Walters of West Lafayette, Ind.
The Galveston Sixth graders were greeted at the Glass Barn by Indianapolis Colts Defensive End Cory Redding, the spokesperson for the #FarmsMatter campaign as part of the Colts partnership with Indiana soybean and corn farmers. The goal is to donate enough meals to feed 65,000 Hoosier kids through Kids Against Hunger of Central Indiana. The students were able to meet Redding and explore the exhibits within the Glass Barn before their program.