State Fair of Virginia visitors stopping at Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s booth will be able to get some hands-on learning about the state’s largest industry: agriculture.
Fairgoers will have an opportunity to milk a cow simulator called “Maggie the Milking Cow.” They also will be able to take a selfie with an actual farmer and ask them questions about agriculture.
“We think this will be a great way to spark a dialogue between farmers and consumers,” said Kelly Pruitt, VFBF grassroots coordinator. “In addition to the selfies, farmers will ask fairgoers agriculture trivia questions and hand out promotional materials.
“The Farm Bureau booth is an opportunity for our farmer members and employees to connect with the general public and give them a little bit of information about agriculture in a fun and informative way.”
Farm Bureau sponsors a space during each year’s State Fair in the Meadow Pavilion, which highlights Virginia’s agricultural commodities. Last year was the first time the organization encouraged selfies and made farmers available to answer questions. “We had a little kid last year who came in, and I asked him if he’d ever met a farmer before. He shook his head ‘No’ and then ran up and hugged the farmer like he was Santa,” Pruitt said.
This year the Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. will sponsor daily agriculture-themed sand sculptures by Sandscapes artists in the center of the pavilion.
Virginia commodity groups that will be exhibiting in the Meadow Pavilion include the Virginia Beekeepers Association, the Virginia Cotton Growers Association, the Virginia Grain Producers Association, the Virginia Peanut Growers Association, the Virginia Pork Council, the Virginia Pumpkin Growers Association, the Virginia Soybean Association, the Virginia Tobacco Board and Virginia’s Finest.
Other ag-related attractions at this year’s fair include Agricadabra, an agricultural magic show; tractor pulls; a milking parlor in Young MacDonald’s Farm; and the Sale of Champions to culminate the youth livestock shows. There also is a field crop plot, an urban garden plot and giant pumpkin and watermelon competitions.
For a complete listing of attractions and other entertainment, visit StateFairVa.org.