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Smithsonian Still Seeking Ag Innovation Stories

Smithsonian Still Seeking Ag Innovation Stories

Smithsonian seeks farmers' stories for 'American Enterprise' exhibit

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History is still seeking farmers' stories for its "American Enterprise" exhibit, which focuses on telling stories of the innovation and experiences of farming and ranching across the United States.

The museum officially announced the launch of the Agricultural Innovation and Heritage Archive this spring, a program that works to build a collection of stories and memorabilia that reflect modern agricultural practices.

Curators also visited the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting this winter to introduce the project to farmers and ranchers.

Have a good story to share? Hop online to Smithsonian's site to get started.

Now, the United Soybean Board says farmers still have time to submit their stories to the museum via www.americanhistory.si.edu.

"Agriculture continually evolves and has become extremely efficient and sustainable with the help of new technologies," says Sharon Covert, a farmer-leader on the United Soybean Board, which recently committed a $1 million investment in support of the exhibition.

"Sharing your stories and artifacts of agriculture's transformations will allow the public to see incredible strides the industry has made in order to provide food, feed, fuel and fiber for the rest of the world," Covert said.

Submitted stories could be included in the exhibition or featured on the museum's blog and social media sites. A few suggested themes include personal experiences, the effects of technology, or the roles of finance, competition, safety, animals, water or labor.

The development of American agriculture will be demonstrated through objects such as road signs related to no-till production and organic farming, a 1920s Fordson tractor and a computer cow tag and reader unit to show the change in dairy farming from an intensive hand-labor process to a modern computer-run operation.

The exhibit is scheduled to open in May 2015.

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