Once, when Nancy Irlbeck took a group of elementary schoolers on a trip to a farm, she remembers that after a little boy picked a carrot, he said they couldnâ€™t eat it because it came out of the dirt.
â€œHe had no idea where carrots come from,â€ said Irlbeck, the associate dean of academic affairs for the College of Agriculture. â€œAnd thatâ€™s exactly why educating the public about agriculture is so important.â€
A group of CSU students and faculty are attempting to do just that at the Ag Adventure Exhibit at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, which lasts until Jan. 22.
The Ag Adventure Exhibit includes hands-on, interactive displays provided by different organizations that aims to illustrate foodâ€™s trip from production to consumption and the role that agriculture plays in all of our lives.
â€œOne farm feeds 155 people — thatâ€™s pretty insane,â€ said Mikenzy Fassel, a freshman equine science major who volunteered at the exhibit.
More than 70,000 people visited the exhibit last year, according to a news release, and this year, 20,000 of those visitors will be school-aged.
â€œItâ€™s disheartening to think about how little the general public knows about agriculture,â€ said Jessica Milstein, a sophomore agriculture education major and ambassador for the College of Agricultural Sciences. â€œBut I think that getting involved in events like this makes a huge difference.â€
While the College of Agricultural Sciences is one of the smallest, with a Fall 2011 enrollment of 1,808, Milstein and Irlbeck agree that itâ€™s also one of the most important and one that theyâ€™d like to see grow in the future.
â€œWith our current technology, in 2050, we wonâ€™t be able to produce enough food,â€ Irlbeck said. â€œSo yes, agriculture is really important.â€
The Ag Adventure exhibit runs until Jan. 22 at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver, and is located on the third floor of the Hall of Education at the National Western Complex on 4655 Humboldt St. in Denver.
Content Managing Editor Allison Sylte can be reached at email@example.com.