Continuing their commitment to education and agriculture, the Lodi Agricultural Fair Board showed off their new grain bin dedicated to teaching people more about where their food comes from.
The dedication ceremony kicked off the festivities for this year’s Lodi Ag Fair on Thursday, July 11. The new addition to the fairgrounds, officially called the “‘We’re Wisconsin...and We Grow It!’ Ag Education Center-Grain Bin,” features a number of education, interactive displays about meat cuts, grains and vegetable crops.
The ag education center came with the help of the Bob Williams family, who was an active friend of the Lodi Ag Fair for many years. Fair Secretary Lori Ripp said Williams originally sought a grant for this project. Williams passed away on Nov. 18, 2016 after complications from a stroke.
“Bob’s always inspired me,” Ripp said. “He’s been so fun to work with through the years. He would just make little tips along the way. He’s helped us, he’s helped so much of us and I truly wish he was here to see this.”
Ripp finished the grant from the education center with the idea about teaching everybody about meat cuts. With the grant, the Fair Board was able to create two games people can play featuring pork and beef.
She said she was also able to secure a full-sized grain bin from her brother to house the display in. Ripp and the rest of the Fair Board spent last year’s Ag Fair determining where the best place was to put it and then decided to cut the ribbon this year.
Fair Board President Terry Quam spoke at the dedication ceremony talking about how this new grain bin continues to follow the same values as the first Lodi Ag Fair back in 1898—agricultural education.
They brought farmers to bring their products in to educate them on how to get better, how to grow faster food, how to grow better food and how to feed a nation,” Quam said. “We still hold those values true today.”
Lodi’s Fairest of the Fair Hannah Taylor, as well as this year’s Alice in Dairyland Abigail Martin, spoke about their excitement for agriculture, education and their desire to get people to meet their local producers.
“Agriculture education is important and I find that wherever I go, people are interested in where their food comes from,” Martin said. “Maybe they didn’t grow up on a farm but getting out to the fair is a great opportunity to connect with those local farmers in their area.”
The Lodi Ag Fair and its operations is all 100% volunteer driven and Ripp said they have a “tremendous group of volunteers” that have stepped to make everything they do possible.