It’s Fair time in East Texas, and in addition to fair food, rides and animal projects, agricultural education is on the menu at the East Texas State Fair. It is so important for our young people to learn how agriculture, horticulture and the environment impacts their daily lives. Many kids have little connection with or realization of the crucial role of agriculture in society.
Smith County Master Gardeners have set up a wonderful interactive exhibit called the Secret Garden, as part of the larger AgriWorld exhibit at the Fair. Kids (and adults) follow a garden path to learn about rainwater harvesting and water conservation, as their future depends on a reliable supply of high-quality water. They’ll learn about pollination and its all-important role in producing much of the food we eat. The life cycle of butterflies, herbs, healthy soil, recycling and what happens to water when it goes down the drain, are some of the other exhibits.
There’s also a display highlighting Master Gardener educational activities, and if you are feeling up to a challenge, you can play the Junior Master Gardener game, a computer game based on Jeporady styled questions. See if you can get 100 % correct.
Also at AgriWorld, you’ll encounter baby chicks hatching every day, City Critters (urban wildlife), life and animals on the farm, bats, native fish and other wildlife, cotton, corn and other crops. The ImAGination Station is a hands’ on play area for little kids, helping them learn that carrots and potatoes grow in the soil, eggs come from chickens, and pears and apples grow on trees. There’s also an observation hive supplied by East Texas Beekeepers Association. There’s lots to see and learn for both young and old.
The East Texas State Fair is open through Sunday, September 29.