Texas Agriculture January 20, 2017 : Page 8

Photo courtesy of Bayer Museum of Agriculture TFB contributes $100,000 to museum’s ag-venture By Julie Tomascik Editor A growing disconnect between ur-ban and rural America has Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) expanding its reach and raising agricultural awareness. The state’s largest general farm and ranch organization will help a new agricultural literacy wing soar at the Bayer Museum of Ag-riculture in Lubbock through a $100,000 contribution. “Many families are several gen-erations removed from agriculture, and that makes it even more im-portant for us to communicate the significant impact farmers and ranchers have on our food, fiber and fuel supply,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “The literacy wing will help us explain the role agriculture plays in the lives of Texans.” The museum hopes to turn the tide in agricultural awareness with the new wing, AgWorks. The 4,500 square-foot space will encompass interactive exhibits that employ all the senses. From a large animal vet clinic and water table focused on agriculture to ob-servation silos, facts about GMOs and a crop cycle exhibit, the wing will be a real ag-venture. The area is designed for children in fourth grade or younger, but is also an entertaining and educa-tional experience for families. “Consumer audiences are hun-gry for more information about ag-riculture—the way food is grown and the farm and ranch families who make it all possible,” Boening said. “An adventure into the wide world of agriculture is a great place to start. It can help spark more questions and an understanding for what we, as farmers and ranch-ers, do.” The Bayer Museum of Agricul-ture is well established and has a long-standing history of promoting agriculture, TFB Executive Direc-tor and Chief Operating Officer Si Cook said. “Our relationship with the mu-seum and their year-round, con-sistent efforts to interact with the public on agriculture helps Texas Farm Bureau further increase ag-ricultural awareness,” he said. “Ag-riculture is a major influence in our state, and we’re proud to help showcase the history and impor-tance.” The museum hopes to raise funds and begin construction on the wing in the next two to three years, according to museum execu-tive director Lacee Hoelting. “The total project is $3.5 million with about $1.2 of that being spe-cifically for exhibits and the rest of the building itself, which will also house the Becknell Classroom, a Cotton Heritage Gallery, archives, educational director office and ro-tating exhibit space,” Hoelting said. About one-third of the funds have been raised, according to Hoelting. “It will be a great overview of agriculture,” Hoelting said. “It will have some region-specific items like an exhibit focused on cotton production. The story barn will al-low us to offer programming on all types of agriculture.” It’s one of the many ways the or-ganization reaches out to consumer audiences. TFB also partners with schools for Planting the Seed demonstra-tions, Ag in the Classroom activi-ties with the mobile learning barns and Planet Agriculture at the live-stock shows and fairs across the state. “We continue to make invest-ments in agriculture and our farm-ers and ranchers,” Boening said. “This contribution to the Bayer Museum of Agriculture will only amplify our reach, and that’s what we need, now more than ever.” For more information on the Bayer Museum of Agriculture, visit www.agriculturehistory.org. 8 J ANUARY 20 , 2017

TFB Contributes $100,000 to Museum’s Ag-Venture

Julie Tomascik

A growing disconnect between urban and rural America has Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) expanding its reach and raising agricultural awareness.

The state’s largest general farm and ranch organization will help a new agricultural literacy wing soar at the Bayer Museum of Agriculture in Lubbock through a $100,000 contribution.

“Many families are several generations removed from agriculture, and that makes it even more important for us to communicate the significant impact farmers and ranchers have on our food, fiber and fuel supply,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “The literacy wing will help us explain the role agriculture plays in the lives of Texans.”

The museum hopes to turn the tide in agricultural awareness with the new wing, AgWorks.

The 4,500 square-foot space will encompass interactive exhibits that employ all the senses. From a large animal vet clinic and water table focused on agriculture to observation silos, facts about GMOs and a crop cycle exhibit, the wing will be a real ag-venture.

The area is designed for children in fourth grade or younger, but is also an entertaining and educational experience for families.

“Consumer audiences are hungry for more information about agriculture—the way food is grown and the farm and ranch families who make it all possible,” Boening said. “An adventure into the wide world of agriculture is a great place to start. It can help spark more questions and an understanding for what we, as farmers and ranchers, do.”

The Bayer Museum of Agriculture is well established and has a long-standing history of promoting agriculture, TFB Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Si Cook said.

“Our relationship with the museum and their year-round, consistent efforts to interact with the public on agriculture helps Texas Farm Bureau further increase agricultural awareness,” he said. “Agriculture is a major influence in our state, and we’re proud to help showcase the history and importance.”

The museum hopes to raise funds and begin construction on the wing in the next two to three years, according to museum executive director Lacee Hoelting.

“The total project is $3.5 million with about $1.2 of that being specifically for exhibits and the rest of the building itself, which will also house the Becknell Classroom, a Cotton Heritage Gallery, archives, educational director office and rotating exhibit space,” Hoelting said.

About one-third of the funds have been raised, according to Hoelting.

“It will be a great overview of agriculture,” Hoelting said. “It will have some region-specific items like an exhibit focused on cotton production. The story barn will allow us to offer programming on all types of agriculture.”

It’s one of the many ways the organization reaches out to consumer audiences.

TFB also partners with schools for Planting the Seed demonstrations, Ag in the Classroom activities with the mobile learning barns and Planet Agriculture at the livestock shows and fairs across the state.

“We continue to make investments in agriculture and our farmers and ranchers,” Boening said. “This contribution to the Bayer Museum of Agriculture will only amplify our reach, and that’s what we need, now more than ever.”

For more information on the Bayer Museum of Agriculture, visit www.agriculturehistory.org.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/TFB+Contributes+%24100%2C000+to+Museum%E2%80%99s+Ag-Venture/2692373/378248/article.html.

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