When family-owned and operated Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers built its headquarters in St. Johns, the company’s leaders dedicated a wing to show agriculture’s role in history.
“Our owner, Troy [Bancroft], looked at that space and said that we had to do more for the industry and the community. That’s how the IQhub was born,” says Burt Henry, Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers outreach and education manager.
“We try to have exhibits that everyone will find interesting,” Henry says of the 9,500-square-foot space with 23 museum-quality exhibits that tell the story of agriculture and its importance in shaping the country. “We integrate not only some really neat agricultural information, but also historical facts and pieces that people may not already know.”
The IQhub is uniting Michigan agribusinesses to address the widening gap between producers and consumers.
“The foundation decided to partner with the IQhub because one of its main focuses is to educate consumers about agriculture,” says Deb Schmucker, director of the Center for Education and Leadership Development for the Michigan Farm Bureau. “Many families now don’t have grandma and grandpa’s farm to go to and experience how life on the farm actually happens.”
Admission to the IQhub is free – a conscious decision made by the Bancroft family.
“We don’t want anything to hinder attendance,” Henry says.
With this in mind, generous donations were made for transportation grants to help schools pay for field trips by the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture – governed by the Michigan Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors, the Michigan Corn Growers Association, Greenstone Farm Credit and Spartan Insurance.