July 24, 2015
Grand Island, Neb. — Nebraska raises everything from millet to dry edible beans, from Christmas trees to wine grapes. Without traveling to every corner of the state, it’s difficult to imagine the diversity of Nebraska agriculture. The new outdoor space at Raising Nebraska can help visitors understand the abundant opportunities agriculture provides to the state.
Raising Nebraska: Outdoors is an educational landscape shaped like the state of Nebraska, with a variety of crops, plants, trees and grasses positioned in the areas of the state in which they are prevalent. The space is approximately 180 feet long and 120 feet deep. Walkways through the space represent the major river systems in Nebraska. Experienced UNL agronomy, horticulture and landscaping experts are designing the unique space which is scheduled to debut at the 2015 Nebraska State Fair next month.
The exhibit will be open year-round and Nebraska Extension Educator, Beth Janning will be onsite to provide agricultural literacy education to visitors. Organizers expect Raising Nebraska to become an annual stop for fairgoers, and they are prepared to provide them a new experience each year.
“Visitors can expect to see something different each time they visit Raising Nebraska during the State Fair," said Janning. "The planting of crops will vary throughout the spring and summer so fairgoers can observe different stages of growth,”
In addition to the dozens of plants, crops, trees and vegetation planted in the space, Raising Nebraska: Outdoors will include a wide range of educational experiences utilizing on-site kiosks, interpretive displays and educational spaces to facilitate both instructor led classes and self-guided discovery. Workshops and seminars will be held for school groups, community organizations, a wide range of agricultural and food producers, professional landscapers, specialty crop producers and others.
The outdoor space will complement the 25,000 square foot interactive experience inside which debuted at the 2014 state fair. Just a few of the features visitors experience inside include an interactive house showing how Nebraska farmers put food on the table, a theater inside of a grain bin showcasing short films about agriculture in Nebraska, a 50-foot walkable map of the state and a virtual combine ride.
Raising Nebraska is a collaborative initiative of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Nebraska State Fair and the Nebraska Department of agriculture. To learn more about the exhibit visit raisingnebraska.net.