If you were asked, ”where does your food come from?” what would you say? Many simply think, “the grocery store,” but don’t think much past that. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station and Auburn University’s College of Agriculture teamed up to answer that question by hosting Ag Discovery Adventure: A Window to the Future. The event took place on Sept. 29 at E.V. Smith Research Center in Shorter, Ala.
The 3,816-acre E.V. Smith Research Center hosted the inaugural Ag Discovery Adventure for anyone interested in learning about where his or her food comes from. “It was a great kick off to what I’m sure will become a great tradition for agriculture in this state,” said Lyndsee Leach, event volunteer. The event offered a variety of speakers, exhibits and interactive events to teach participants about the crucial role of agriculture in our world.
The main goal of Ag Discovery Adventure was to illustrate the key role agriculture plays in every aspect of our every day life. From waking up in the morning, to going to bed at night, every part of your day is impacted by agriculture. According to the American Farm Bureau, the average American is at least three generations removed from the farm. This separation has long been a barrier, keeping people from realizing how often they depend on agriculture. It’s not just at meal times. Agricultural products are everywhere. In our clothes, houses, even our toothpaste.
“Most people don’t realize how advanced agriculture truly is in our nation. It’s no longer just sows, cows and plows. The level of technology used on your average farm is really outstanding. Using precision agriculture, farmers can map their fields down to inches,” said Leach. “They can know all the nutrient, water and production variables for every square yard of a multi-thousand acre field. This helps production be more efficient than ever. Today each farmer produces enough food and fiber for roughly 155 people; just 50 years ago that number was only 26.”
Ag Discovery Adventure allowed participants to see this technology, and many others, in action to provide “a window to the future” of agriculture. Along with the scientific and technological exhibits, there were numerous family oriented activities as well. The event featured a petting zoo, corn maze, hayride, and countless demonstrations and speakers.
By showcasing the rich history of the agriculture industry and the innovations currently being made, the event shed light the role of agriculture in the past, present, and most importantly, future. According to Leach, “the event was meant to be ’entertaining and enlightening’ for those involved and I really believe they accomplished that.”