LINCOLN, NE—Consumers who visit the new Raising Nebraska exhibition hall on the grounds of the Nebraska State Fair will have the opportunity to talk one on one with farmers, ranchers and other food and agriculture experts during the State Fair and throughout the year, thanks to underwriting support from Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica).
Officials at the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln have announced that FCSAmerica is the presenting sponsor of the welcome area to the 25,000-square-foot Raising Nebraska building, which is dedicated to agriculture education and advocacy.
The welcome area includes a large conversation pit where visitors can meet farmers, ranchers, UNL researchers and other experts to discuss food and how it is produced. The conversation pit will be equipped with a large video screen that allows farmers and ranchers to show photos and videos of their operations—and help visitors better understand the choices and decisions they make in producing their crops, livestock and food products.
Raising Nebraska opened to the public during the 2014 Nebraska State Fair, which is scheduled to run through Sept. 1 in Grand Island. The building features interactive experiences designed to give visitors a comprehensive picture of agriculture in Nebraska and the state’s position as a global leader in feeding the world.
“Consumers share an interest in agriculture and food production. Raising Nebraska gives farmers and ranchers a place where they can showcase their commitment to producing food for a growing world, and offers consumers the opportunity to better understand agriculture,” said Bob Campbell, senior vice president for FCSAmerica’s Nebraska and Wyoming retail markets.
“FCSAmerica views this educational opportunity as an investment that pays dividends for generations to come. We are proud to be part of a building designed specifically to foster agriculture literacy.”
Raising Nebraska is open year-round by appointment to school groups, trade teams, agriculture-business and non-profit organizations, as well as other visitors. A full-time UNL extension educator staffs the building, managing the exhibit and working with visiting groups. FCSAmerica will assist in inviting farmers and ranchers interested in bringing their story and operation to the “conversation pit.”
"We are very grateful to Farm Credit Services of America for their leadership in providing a presenting sponsorship at Raising Nebraska," said Dr. Charles Hibberd, dean of extension at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln. "One of the primary objectives of this entire exhibit is to provide consumers with the opportunity to get answers to their questions about food and farming. What better way to achieve that than to provide a place for informal conversations to occur between farmers, ranchers and consumers—and for those in agricultural production to share what they do, and how and why they do it?"
Raising Nebraska is a collaborative effort between the Nebraska State Fair, which is providing the building; the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for coordinating the efforts of the state's commodity groups; and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), which is developing and managing the 25,000 square foot educational experience area.