FarmScape, a free event held in September at St. Louis Ballpark Village, teaches about farming and where food comes from.
FarmScape, a free event held in September at St. Louis Ballpark Village, teaches about farming and where food comes from.

A first of its kind in Missouri – and in the agriculture industry nationwide – FarmScape
is proving to be the perfect opportunity to teach consumers about Missouri’s rich farming heritage.

Presented by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the inaugural event was held at Ballpark Village in downtown St. Louis in September 2015.

“It is often incredibly challenging for farmers to find ways to communicate with consumers, but this event provides a great platform to begin conversations on where our food comes from,” Missouri Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce says about the free event.

FarmScape, a free event held in September at St. Louis Ballpark Village, teaches about farming and where food comes from.Through this engaging and interactive experience, visitors encountered tractors and farming equipment, a farmers market, petting zoo, as well as plentiful displays of local fruits, vegetables and live crops showcasing the best of Missouri agriculture.

Other FarmScape highlights included showing the My Farm, My Story video series, Ballpark Village restaurants featuring locally grown products, sampling wine at the Missouri Wine 101 classes, youth activities like face painting and calf roping, a concert, and the Osborn Barr livestock barn.

FarmScape, a free event held in September at St. Louis Ballpark Village, teaches about farming and where food comes from.Demystifying Farms

“The closest most people get to farm animals is the meat case in their local grocery store,” says Neil Caskey, marketing executive and communications strategist for Osborn Barr.

Determined to provide a genuine farm experience to urban residents, Osborn Barr hosted a livestock barn that featured pigs, sheep, goats, horses, chickens and cows. “Visitors heard from the people who are responsible for the animals and learned how they care for them each and every day,” Caskey says.

In fact, attendees have found that one of the best parts of FarmScape is the opportunity to have real, face-to-face dialogue with local farmers and get answers to their questions regarding agricultural practices, such as the differences between GMO (genetically modified organisms) and non-GMO foods.

As more consumers seek healthy, homegrown local produce, ag events like FarmScape are proving critical to maintaining open lines of communication on both sides.

“For food producers, it starts with a clear understanding of what their customers expect from them,” Caskey says. “And for consumers, it includes a better appreciation of how that food is delivered.”

It is Missouri’s farm families who continually demonstrate the commitment and passion necessary to produce agriculture’s finest for the world.

FarmScape, a free event held in September at St. Louis Ballpark Village, teaches about farming and where food comes from.Save the Date

FarmScape returns to St. Louis Ballpark Village on Sept. 17, 2016, delivering a wide variety of interactive educational ag experiences that are fun for the entire family. This second annual “escape to the farm” adventure is free and open to all ages.

“Corn, soybeans, pigs, cattle and Cardinals baseball together are a perfect marriage of some of our favorite things. We’re definitely in again this year,” Caskey says.

Missouri’s FarmScape success has grabbed the attention of other agricultural organizations across the nation. It’s an event not to be missed.

“Our friends and colleagues in agriculture in other states have contacted the department to learn more about this successful consumer outreach event and how they can develop similar initiatives,” Fordyce says.

For more information, visit agriculture.mo.gov/farmscape.

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