Fair Oaks Farms opened its newest addition – a children’s dining hall – in partnership with Farm Credit and Cargill during its annual kite festival, Fair in the Air on May 13.
The new building provides space for school children, families, and guests to enjoy their lunch and dinner breaks during their tours of The Dairy, Pig, or Crop Adventures.
The FeedBarn is filled with numerous educational resources that add to the experiences guests have while learning about modern farming practices. Farm Credit’s gift helps share the important role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant, and affordable food.“Telling agriculture’s story is increasingly important in a society where more generations of Americans are removed from the farm,” says Tom Tracy, President & CEO of Farm Credit Illinois. “From watching piglets being born, to understanding the milking parlor, Fair Oaks provides guests the opportunity to learn about 21st-century agriculture in engaging and entertaining ways.”
“We feel a responsibility to teach future generations about agriculture, and Fair Oaks provides the perfect environment to foster learning for children of all ages,” says Gary J. Ash, President/CEO of 1st Farm Credit Services. “With more than 40,000 school children visiting annually, the FeedBarn enhances this opportunity.”
A $500,ooo donation from five Farm Credit institutions including Farm Credit Mid-America, AgriBank, Farm Credit Services of America, Farm Credit Illinois, and 1st Farm Credit Services helped build the FeedBarn.
Fair Oaks Farms opened to the public in 2004 with a 22,000-square-foot dairy educational center called The Dairy Adventure. Today, Fair Oaks Farms welcomes more than 500,000 visitors annually from across the world and includes The Pig Adventure and The Crop Adventure. Fair Oaks Farms’ future plans include expanding its portfolio of agricultural experiences to include eggs, cattle, sheep, and goats.
To find out more about how Farm Credit supports agriculture initiatives that create stronger, more viable communities, visit www.farmcredit.com.
About Illinois’ Farm Credit Associations:
Proud to serve Illinois agriculture and rural communities with sound, dependable, and competitive financing and related services. Two cooperatives in Illinois – 1st Farm Credit Services and Farm Credit Illinois – collectively serve 22,000 farm families, rural landowners, and agribusinesses with nearly $10 billion of agricultural financing and 3,000,000 acres of crop insurance coverage. 1st Farm Credit Services is based in Normal and serves the northern 42 counties. Farm Credit Illinois is based in Mahomet and serves the southern 60 counties.