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Larger youth ag area provides more ways for kids to connect to food, animals

The youth agricultural education area at the fair has much more room this year.
Marlys Weaver-Stoesz
Posted on July 15, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

GOSHEN — The Elkhart County 4-H Fair’s youth agricultural education area will provide even more opportunities for kids to learn about farming and animals this year.

The youth agricultural education area at the fair now includes the Farmstead barn and land, where tractor displays had previously been. That’s allowed the youth ag education area to now include a large garden, “Farmer for a Day” activity stations and the Miracle of Life Animal Birthing Center, along with Young McDonald’s Farm and the youth ag education tent that have been on site.

Young McDonald’s Farm provides visitors the chance to see a variety of animals, including chicks, pigs, mini pigs and goats, including one who is due to give birth, while the birthing center gives people the opportunity to see cows calving.

The “Farmer for a Day” activity stations, provided by the International Association of Expositions and Fairs, let kids experience digging potatoes in sand, picking apples from a constructed tree and gathering eggs from plush chickens.

The cooking demonstrations that have become a regular part of the youth ag education area the last couple years will also expand this year with more chefs leading the demonstrations.

Chef Jose Rios from Mod Mex Restaurant in Elkhart will be leading the Monday demonstrations. On Tuesday, chef Mike Miles, owner of Miles Lab in Elkhart, will be making fish tacos and maybe a taco burger, Granberg said. Wednesday, Paul Cataldo of Antonio’s Italian Restaurant will lead the demonstrations.

During the Growums cooking for kids demos, chefs teach kids to cut up vegetables that they were able to grow through Growums taco or pizza garden kits and show them how to prepare their chopped veggies into either tacos or pizza at home. The chefs cook the final product and everyone gets a sample, Granberg said.

The chef demonstrations allow the chefs the freedom to use the site’s garden produce to create whatever dish they want. The kitchen is approved by the health department and kids and parents will be able to taste the final products.

The goal is to teach kids where their food comes from and (that) eating fresh vegetables is easy and healthy,” Granberg said.

This year, the Goshen Farmer’s Market and the community group Hens for Goshen, which is working to make it legal to own a few hens within Goshen city limits, will be at the site at times during the week.

Here’s a list of when activities at the youth agricultural education area will be happening.

Young McDonald’s Farm and the “Farmer for a Day” activity stations will be open each day of the fair from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Here are when other events at the youth ag area will be.

FRIDAY, July 19

Noon to 7 p.m. — Hens for Goshen

SUNDAY, JULY 21

11 a.m. to 7 p.m. — Hens for Goshen

MONDAY, JULY 22

10:30 to 11:30 a.m. — Growums cooking for kids demos

11:30 a.m. — Chef Demonstration: Cooking with Kids

1 to 2 p.m. — Growums cooking for kids demos

2 p.m. — Chef Demonstration: Cooking with kids

TUESDAY, JULY 23

1 to 2 p.m. — Growums cooking for kids demo

2 p.m. — Chef Demonstration: Cooking with Kids

WEDNESDAY, JULY 24

10 a.m. — Kids’ contest: Pizza dough toss

11 a.m. — Chef Demonstration (kids make and taste pizza)

1:15 p.m. — Kids’ contest: Pizza dough toss

2 to 3 p.m. — Chef Demonstration (kids make and taste pizza)

THURSDAY, July 25

Noon to 7 p.m. — Goshen Farmer’s Market



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