INDIANAPOLIS — After months of planning and construction,
the Glass Barn at the Indiana State Fair is finished and ready for visitors to
stop by and learn about agriculture.
The barn is the newest educational building to join the
fair’s long line of exhibits. It will feature a variety of technologically
friendly platforms that show how modern farm families live and do business.
“The Glass Barn is a project that the Indiana Soybean
Alliance and checkoff board decided to fund a couple years ago,” said Megan
Kuhn, communications director of Indiana Soybean Alliance. “We really wanted a
project that tied to the state fair because the state fair does a great job
educating about agriculture.”
The glass walls and sleek roof resembling solar panels show
that agriculture is a modern, transparent industry.
Even the carpet in one area of the barn resembles an aerial
view of Indiana fields, with patches of green and yellow pieced together.
“We kind of split it up into four zones,” Kuhn explained.
“Our weGROW theatre is the focal point. The big screen is where we show videos
of our farmers, Joe, Amy and Heather. You’ll see them throughout the exhibit
because we really wanted to put a face to farming.
“Three times a day, we’ll actually go live through iPad,
through FaceTime. We’ll have a conversation with them on their farm. We’ll talk
a little bit, and then we’ll open it up for conversation. We wanted to introduce
them and show their family, show that they are modern farms.”
The other three zones are:
* pictureU — A walk-in photo booth with a green screen
allows guests to say “cheese” and impose themselves on one of four background
options. Afterward they can send the image via email to share with friends and
* uFARM — This touch-screen game allows visitors to learn
about farm management practices such as planting, pesticide application and
more. Guests can compete with their friends to see who has the most successful
* uEAT — While visiting this portion of the barn, fairgoers
can walk through an interactive grocery store, learn about the variety of
products that come from ag commodities and play games on touch-screen
The barn is free for fairgoers and will be air-conditioned,
offering an escape from the summer heat.
The exhibits will be available every day of the fair, but
the fun won’t end with summertime. The Glass Barn will serve as the welcome
center for the State’s Largest Classroom, an educational program that provides
onsite field trips for students year-round.
“We want visitors to get a chance to learn what it takes to
be a farmer today and how farmers grow their food,” said Jane Ade Stevens, chief
executive officer of the ISA. “We want them to know that it’s good food that is
safe and nutritious and that it is made by farm families.”