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CSU students host Ag Adventure at NWSS

January 5, 2012

Every year, students from CSU's College of Agricultural Sciences hope to establish a budding interest in agriculture among school children and other visitors during the National Western Stock Show.

CSU students create agricultural interest

Alex Harvey, with horse, Malinda DeBell, with CAM the Ram, and Jenna Oxenhandler, with chickens, are among the agricultural students running Ag Adventure at the National Western Stock Show. They're teaching visitors about agriculture and food sources.About 60 CSU students are staging an exhibit during the National Western Stock Show in Denver to teach thousands of visitors about the science of agriculture and the sources of their food.

Ag Adventure, with a variety of interactive displays, is a feature at National Western for the fifth year. The hope, organizers said, is to help people better understand and appreciate their connection to agriculture.

“If you eat, drink and wear clothes, then you are part of agriculture!” said Jenna Oxenhandler, a junior majoring in animal science and agricultural business who is helping with Ag Adventure.

Last year, about 70,000 schoolchildren and other visitors toured Ag Adventure during National Western. About one-third of those visitors were children from Denver-area schools.

Ag Adventure uses hands-on activities to explore livestock production, crop production, animal husbandry, land stewardship and other topics.

Partnering on the exhibit are commodity groups representing producers of beef, dairy, sheep, wool, eggs, potatoes and vegetables, corn, grain, plants and landscaping, and honey. The Colorado Department of Agriculture and Colorado Farm Bureau also are involved.

“This is designed to raise awareness about agriculture in our everyday lives,” said Nancy Irlbeck, associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Irlbeck is an Ag Adventure adviser.

Engaging students in interactive displaysRoughly 70,000 people visited Ag Adventure last year.

CSU students who plan and run Ag Adventure likewise benefit.

“This is a chance for our students to work side-by-side with our industry partners. Not only will this expand our students’ working knowledge of agriculture, but it helps them network in an industry that they plan to work in,” Irlbeck said.

Ag Adventure at the National Western is an outgrowth of an annual program held at CSU’s Agricultural Research, Development and Education Center north of Fort Collins. Every fall, the local version of Ag Adventure hosts about 2,000 third-graders from Fort Collins-area schools.

Ag Adventure is open daily at the 2012 National Western, which began on Saturday and runs until Jan. 22. The exhibit is on the third floor of the Hall of Education across from the Colorado State University booth at the National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt St., Denver.

Contact: Jim Beers
Phone: (970) 491-6401