AUBURN, Ala.—The public can get a genuine feel for 21st-century agriculture on Saturday, Sept. 29, when the Auburn University College of Agriculture, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station present the first-ever “Ag Discovery Adventure: A Window to the Future” at the E.V. Smith Research Center. The 3,816-acre E.V. Smith Center, one of the AAES’s 15 outlying research facilities in the state, is located at Exit 26 on Interstate 85, between Montgomery and Auburn.

Ag Discovery Adventure, set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., is free and open to the public. Gates will open at 8:30 a.m., with the official welcome set for 9 a.m. on the main stage. Following the theme “Consumers, meet agriculture,” the event will highlight farm technology and illustrate the key role agriculture plays in every aspect of life.

“We hope to excite the public about agriculture and educate them on the science and technology used to produce food, fiber, feed and energy in the world today,” said John Fulton, Auburn biosystems engineering associate professor, Extension specialist and co-chair of Ag Discovery Adventure.

Exhibits and demonstrations at the event will feature information on topics ranging from insect scouting to precision farming technology. Activities will include a corn maze, tour wagons pulled by auto-guided tractors, high-tech treasure hunts using GPS, milking demonstrations and more, all designed to introduce folks of all ages to the many facets of modern farm technology and production. Attendees also can test their knowledge of agriculture in an interactive game show on the main stage at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.

“This is where we begin to have an honest dialog with consumers about where their food comes from and where they need to go to find factual information,” said Lisa Kriese-Anderson, Extension specialist, associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences and Fulton’s Ag Discovery Adventure co-chair.

Perfectly scheduled for the open Saturday on the Auburn Tigers’ 2012 football schedule, Ag Discovery Adventure offers an ideal way to spend a fall day with the family. Those attending can bring a picnic lunch or can purchase food from any of several vendors, including Auburn’s Collegiate Cattlemen and Cattlewomen, a group that will be selling hamburgers, cheeseburgers and pork barbecue sandwiches for $6 per plate, chips and drinks included. Individual food sales will be cash only, though groups such as 4-H clubs and church groups can pay by check. Checks should be made out to the Collegiate Cattlemen and Cattlewomen, and all members of each group must get their food at the same time.

The inaugural Ag Discovery Adventure is co-sponsored by the Alabama Cotton Producers, the Alabama Soybean Producers and the Alabama Wheat and Field Grain Producers.

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