Open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily; located on the southwest corner of Lee Avenue and Cooper Street (See a State Fair map)
“Little Farm Hands” is an agricultural education exhibit for kids. Children (ages 3-10) become farm hands at this free, hands-on exhibit as they are provided the opportunity to experience the agricultural process, beginning at the farm and ending at the market. Each year, more than 40,000 Little Farm Hands and their families don their work aprons and fire up their imaginations to help with farm chores, collect goods to sell at the farmers market, and then spend their “earnings” on real products made from the farm at the grocery store.
This mock-farm consists of a series of five miniature barns, a grain bin, a tractor yard, six garden plots, an apple orchard and a farmers market connected by a self-guided pathway that directs families from a starting point to the last step in the process at the grocery store. Also, explore why soil erosion occurs, the importance of pollination, the work of honeybees, how water travels in a cycle, and what rain barrels do. Meander through the Field of Knowledge to get an up-close look at sugar beets, wheat and a variety of corn, sunflowers and pollinator-friendly flowers.
Each stop along the path provides hands-on tasks related to planting crops and the tending of animals. For example, at the chicken coop, the farm hands feed the faux chickens the grain they “harvested” and then collect the eggs. At the dairy barn, children milk a fiberglass cow and collect milk cartons, and at the tractor shed, they drive pedal tractors with wagons to haul the hay for the animals.
After the children have gone through each of the miniature barns and collected their products, they “sell” them at the farmers market for “cash” to be used at the retail grocery store where they have the opportunity to “buy” finished products like apples, canned vegetables, fruit snacks, ice cream, juice, etc.
Farm hands ages 11+ can grab a bookmark and pencil to learn even more about the farm and agriculture! At each stop along the path, answer agriculture-related trivia, and at the end of your journey, check your answers at the Ag-Vestigator Education Station. Receive a ribbon for your farm knowledge!For further information, please email us or call us directly at (651) 288-4396.