WILLMAR — “Agriculture is Everywhere” is the theme of this year’s Farmtastic event July 29 outside the Bill Taunton Stadium prior to the Stingers baseball game in Willmar.
Sponsored by the Kandiyohi County Corn and Soybean Growers Association, the event will give youth who may not have opportunities to be on a farm a chance to see how agriculture is part of their everyday lives.
The farm advocacy group gave away 300 tickets to the July 29 game to youth and their families through outlets like the local YMCA and summer camps.
The free pregame Farmtastic activities will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. outside the stadium gates and are open to all, said Sarah Leshuk, a member of the association’s board of directors.
“Our goal is to open the minds of our youth to see that agriculture is everywhere,” said Leshuk. “We will have several fun activities and a very hands-on experience.”
Activities include a “barnyard bash” with baby pigs, chickens, cattle and goats on site, with a life-sized model milk cow available to let kids experience milking a cow by hand.
Leshuk said fun educational activities will teach kids about the value of protecting soil, the different types of crops grown in the region, a chance to see big farm equipment and an opportunity to try their hand at driving a combine in a combine simulator used in college farm ag classes.
There will be crafts and treats for kids to make that exemplify the impact of local agriculture and some real-life applications that will interest adults, including a new set of Goodyear tires made from soybean oil.
The Kandiyohi County Corn and Soybean Growers Association donated a set of tires this month to the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office, which put the tires on a squad car that will be on display at the event.
Fire trucks, which use biodiesel fuel made from soybeans, will be on display along with other service vehicles that use ethanol made from corn.
During the game, kids will be invited onto the field, along with volunteer 4-H members, to carry banners about the bases emphasizing how agriculture is everywhere in people’s lives.