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AgMagic exhibit takes guests through Louisiana agriculture journey at State Fair

News Release Distributed 10/27/14

SHREVEPORT, La. – Thanks to the LSU AgCenter’s AgMagic, Doyline students Jamaria Clark and Jordan Fuller went on a magical tour harvesting cotton during the 2014 State Fair of Louisiana on Oct. 23.

“I felt like I was driving the (cotton harvester),” said Clark, a fourth-grader.

“Yeah,” said Fuller, a seventh-grader. “It was pretty cool.”

The harvester Clark and Fuller referred to is one of the highlights in the AgCenter’s AgMagic exhibit at this year’s state fair. A computer screen inside the cab of the harvester shows it traveling through a cotton field.

“I like watching the (harvester) as it goes through the field on the screen,” Clark said.

Clark and Fuller were part of about 10,000 youth who will participate in this year’s AgMagic at the State Fair.

AgMagic is an interactive set of exhibits designed to show people where their food and fiber come from. It is free and open to the public for self-guided tours on Oct. 24-Nov. 9 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. School groups will visit Oct. 30-31 and Nov. 6-7.

“Our goal with AgMagic is to show people that the clothes they are wearing actually come from cotton that is grown throughout the state,” said Karen Martin, 4-H regional coordinator for the AgCenter’s Northwest Region. “We have several different areas in AgMagic that highlight Louisiana agriculture.”

Each year, exhibits are set up to show people how food and fiber products used every day come from forests, field crops and livestock produced by Louisiana farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. Featured crops are displayed in various stages of development, and the importance of interactions among agriculture, the environment and society at large are highlighted.

Bugs Rule! in the entomology area, where a walk-through stump featuring all types of bugs is one of the new activities featured this year. In addition to the stump, visitors to the entomology exhibit also can learn more about bugs by looking at insects through a microscope.

In the Plant Produce area, visitors can learn about vegetables grown in gardens while digging for carrots and potatoes. Children get the opportunity to actually dig for worms.

In the World of Wonder area, Ricky Kilpatrick, LSU AgCenter forestry agent, has information about camping, fishing, forestry, hiking, wildlife and other outdoor activities available. Also in this area of AgMagic, visitors can make paw prints in boxes of sand and then look at pictures to find the animal associated with the paw print.

An exhibit of tools used by foresters, including loggers tape and increment bore, also is available. In addition, visitors can get information on how many rocking chairs and toothpicks can be produced from a cord of wood, as well as safety recommendations when operating an all-terrain vehicle.

Other interactive exhibits include an animal area that focuses on livestock and poultry production, including an exhibit at which visitors can watch chicks hatch from their eggs.

“We want the youth to understand food that is bought in grocery stores comes from a farm first,” said Gary Stockton, an AgCenter agent in Lincoln Parish.

An exhibit is set up to explain how giant salvinia on Cross Lake is being controlled with the salvinia weevil.

Mystery boxes with signs asking for guesses are set up throughout the AgMagic exhibit with information designed to provide visitors with more information about Louisiana agriculture. Questions are taped to the tops of the boxes. Visitors read the questions and then raise the lids to find the answers and see if they are correct.

Other exhibits provide information about biofuels, compost, farmers markets, 4-H programs and healthy eating.

For more information about AgMagic, call 318-357-2224 or 318-226-2805, or click here.  

A. Denise Attaway

Last Updated: 10/28/2014 8:21:19 AM

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