The Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA) is seeking volunteers to work in the Glass Barn during the Indiana State Fair, July 29 through Aug. 21. The Glass Barn is the state’s premier soybean educational facility. The Glass Barn opened in 2013 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds to teach the public about modern farming practices and technology.
Volunteers who work a 4-hour shift will receive a free t-shirt, a ticket to the Indiana State Fair and a meal coupon. ISA needs more than 200 volunteers to help staff the Glass Barn during this year’s State Fair. Volunteers will help visitors take part in various hands-on Glass Barn exhibits such as operating the interactive combine simulator, playing the BeanGo game to earn this year’s Glass Barn Hat, taking photos in the PictureU booths and answering quiz questions about Indiana agriculture during Farmer Chats for prizes.
“Farmer volunteers are vital members of our Bean Team because they represent the faces and voices of the story we tell at the Glass Barn,” said ISA Board Director Elaine Gillis, a farmer from Dunkirk, Ind. “Volunteering on the Bean Team is fun and easy. We hope to have a record number of farmers sign up and participate this year. Volunteers aren’t limited to farmers. Anyone who has a passion for farming, education and ag technology is welcome to volunteer.”
Join the Bean Team and help tell the story of Indiana agriculture at the Indiana State Fair.
To sign up for the Bean Team, email firstname.lastname@example.org by July 25. Even those who can’t volunteer this year are encouraged to visit the Glass Barn during the Indiana State Fair.
ISA has updated three of the Glass Barn’s most popular exhibits for 2022. First, the “Soy You Think You Can Farm” video game has received a retro refresh. Introduced nearly a decade ago, this game teaches visitors about agriculture from planting to harvest. However, the game play is new and improved. Plus, the games have been moved into old-school-style arcade cabinets.
The players will have the opportunity to plant soybeans, use drone technology to detect and prevent weeds as well as protect against pests. Later, players will harvest the soybeans and determine the number of families they were able to feed with their crop. The top 10 scores of each day will be displayed. There is also an online version that can be played on a computer or mobile device after leaving the Glass Barn.
The Bean Market has received a facelift, too, and it looks more like a convenient store complete with a frozen foods section, biofuels pump and a new game called “Soy Market Spree!” In this interactive experience, visitors will scan items on a grocery list and learn how soybeans play a role in their development. Items like newspapers, birthday candles, ice cream and hot dogs can be scanned to complete the shopping list. But keep an eye on the clock to make sure time doesn’t run out on the shopping spree.
Another update includes new content at the Glass Barn’s WeGrow Theater. This exhibit presents ISA’s Featured Farmer videos. These informative short films have been expanded to highlight the journey of the soybean from the field to soybean oil, biodiesel, new uses, livestock feed and more. Live chats will feature new and returning presenters at 11 a.m., 2 and 4 p.m. each day. Visitors may ask questions of these presenters.
In addition to the new content, upgraded screens, benches and graphics, there have also been physical improvements to the Glass Barn. SynLawn, a synthetic turf includes ingredients made from soybeans, has been installed in the facility. Also, the sidewalks around the Glass Barn have been treated with PoreShield, a soybean-based concrete durability enhancer.
Along with these Glass Barn improvements, soybeans will have an increased presence at other places around the fair this year. Such as:
- The State Fair’s fleet of company vehicles will use a soybean-based motor oil made by Biosynthetic Technologies. Nearly three pounds of soybeans is used in each quart of oil.
- ISA is working with the State Fair food vendors to cook with high oleic soybean oil in their deep fryers. For customers, high oleic soybean oil offers less saturated fat, no trans-fat and meets the nutritional needs for a growing number of people.
- Soy biodiesel will again power the State Fair’s “Midway rides” and tractor shuttles.
- And lastly, in a partnership with the Indiana FFA, SynLawn turf is used on the putt-putt golf course in the FFA Pavilion. About 15,000 consumers play putt-putt each year.
For additional information about the Glass Barn, go online to www.glassbarn.org.
Source: Indiana Soybean Alliance.