The Illinois State Fair wrapped up over the weekend in Springfield. The Fair, with its roots firmly established in agriculture, might be the most heavily trafficked one-stop-shop chance to expose the general public to agriculture here in Illinois. With that in mind, Illinois corn checkoff dollars supported one of the most popular exhibits at the fair…Farmers Little Helpers.

It’s been reported that general admissions to the Fair increased by about 3% year over year. And although fair food and concerts may be the top of mind for most visitors, Farmers Little Helpers is a “gem” that definitely adds a unique element to the visitor’s day!

Located just inside Gate 2, Farmers Little Helpers targets young children and their families for a fun visit to learn more about farmers and farming. Gate 2 is the most heavily used gate at the fairgrounds from a foot-traffic standpoint. The visibility of the location is highly valued, and coordinates with one of the boarding areas of the Sky-Glider.

Farmers Little Helpers corn signWithin Farmers Little Helpers is a child-sized corn field featuring fun messages about corn and its uses. Also, in a 12’ by 16’ building dubbed, “The Tool Shed,” kids and their parents can play in a sandbox filled with corn and soybeans, as well as look at fun exhibit displays.

The “Piglets on Parade” exhibit was relocated last year to the Farmers Little Helpers area. In this exhibit, Illinois Pork Producers Association, supported by the corn checkoff, lets visitors experience in-real-life the birth of piglets.

If you didn’t see the exhibit this year, make sure to add it to your must-see list for next year. Remember! Farmers aren’t the audience…its children and their parents!

Braid Terry_Tricia  mugshotTricia Braid
ICGA/ICMB Communications Director