Visitors to this year’s State Fair of Virginia will have the chance to learn about agriculture from the state’s largest farm advocacy group.
Virginia Farm Bureau Federation will have indoor and outdoor displays at the Meadow Pavilion during the fair, which will be held Sept. 27 through Oct. 6.
“Just look for the big red barn,” said Kelly Roberts, VFBF assistant director of member engagement and co-chair of the fair exhibit. “You can’t miss us.”
This year’s outdoor display has been dubbed “Farm Bureau Land” and will include hands-on agricultural activities and educational displays for adults and children.
Highlights of this year’s booth include the James River Equipment “Touch a Tractor” exhibit, an interactive corn crib area for kids and a standing cutout frame for picture-taking.
Inside the sandbox-like corn crib structure, children can play in the corn with small tractor toys provided by James River Equipment. The “Touch a Tractor” exhibit will offer fairgoers the opportunity to explore and touch a tractor and hay baler.
There also will be a 360-degree video exhibit called Farm360 that allows viewers to digitally engage with scenic farms around the state.
“We have videos of a poultry farm with little baby chicks and a dairy farm with cows. There’s a scene where a cow comes right up to the camera, and it feels like the cow’s coming up to kiss you,” Roberts said. “You really feel like you’re standing there and seeing it all happen before your eyes. To see people’s reactions, it’s amazing; that’s something we’re really proud of.”
This year’s Farm360 exhibit will include two new videos, made possible through a partnership with Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom. One video will showcase an apple orchard in Nelson County, and the other features a Southampton County cotton harvest.
Additionally, fairgoers will have the opportunity to talk to real Virginia farmers and inquire about local food, farm equipment and other farm-related topics.
“We really want to encourage that interaction between farmers and the public in case they have questions about where their food comes from,” Roberts said. “It’s all about creating a positive experience.”
More information about this year’s fair is available at StateFairVa.org.