Monday, 03 March 2014 15:47

Free admission for fourth graders

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Fair to offer free admission to fourth grade students and teachers
Agriculture is Cool program will educate Ohioans about state’s largest industry    

In celebration of Ohio Agriculture Week, March 10 - 14, the Ohio Expositions Commission and the Ohio Department of Agriculture have announced that the Agriculture is Cool education program hosted in collaboration with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and Ohio’s agricultural commodity groups will return to the 2014 Ohio State Fair. 
 
The Agriculture is Cool program, inspired by the initiative of Gov. John R. Kasich, includes several interactive education stations throughout the Ohio State Fair where students have the opportunity to learn about the many ways Ohio’s largest industry  agriculture  impacts many facets of their everyday lives. The program, which also offers four $500 scholarships to top participants, was recognized by the International Association of Fairs and Expositions as the best special or specific agricultural education exhibit, event or program for the fairgoing public for fairs with annual attendance between 500,001 and 1 million. 
 
The Agriculture is Cool program will be open to visitors of all ages during the 2014 Ohio State Fair, July 23 - Aug. 3. For the fourth consecutive year, exiting fourth grade students (2013-2014 academic year) and a chaperone will be admitted for free upon presentation of a valid report card at the entrance gates. In addition, fourth grade teachers will be invited to attend the Fair for free and can enter to win one of two field trips for their class. Teachers are required to submit their contact information online at  www.agri.ohio.gov/agiscool http://www.agri.ohio.gov/agiscool  and will be sent an admission voucher. 
 
Prior to the Fair, the Creative Expression visual arts contest will take place through June 6.  School-age Ohioans (K-12) are encouraged to draw, paint, photograph or produce a video about why they think agriculture is cool.  Winners in each category and age group will be selected and honored in a special ceremony at the Fair. 
 
"The Ohio State Fair is a celebration of the many things that make our great state so wonderful, including agriculture," explained Ohio Expositions Commission General Manager Virgil Strickler. "By offering free admission to fourth graders and their teachers, we are able to provide a 360-acre classroom to educate visitors about this ever-changing and technologically advanced industry." 
 
"Ag is Cool has been a great way to help educate young people about life on the farm and about the many ways Ohio’s largest industry, food and agriculture, impacts their everyday lives without them even realizing it," said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David T. Daniels. "It provides a fun outlet to reconnect youth back to agriculture and the importance it has in our state." 
 
One in seven Ohioans has an agriculture-related job. Every year, farmers in Ohio produce 7.6 billion eggs, 379 million pounds of chicken, 5.5 million turkeys, 278 million pounds of red meat, 1.1 billion pounds of pork and nearly 616 million gallons of milk. There are 126,000 sheep and lambs in Ohio, making Ohio  the largest sheep producing state east of the Mississippi River.    
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