Farm animals, tractors and farmers filled the St. Louis Ballpark Village on the evening of Saturday, Sept. 17. While throngs of people filtered through on their way to Busch Stadium to enjoy a ballgame, many stopped to talk with the agricultural producers who came to share their background, and explain why they love their job.
FarmScape, an event presented by Anheuser Busch and hosted by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, came back for a second year this fall. FarmScape was created as a fun way to connect those in the city with Missouri agriculture in an attempt for them to better understand the industry.
This free event included many different booths and activities that were family friendly and interactive.
“Meet a Missouri Farmer,” sponsored by Monsanto, was new to FarmScape. Chris Chinn, a fifth-generation farmer from Clarence, Missouri, was one of the farmers who took time to communicate with attendees about her daily life on the farm and passion for the agriculture industry.
“I thought it was a very good event,” Chinn said. “We had the opportunity to talk to people we wouldn’t normally have the chance to and answer any questions they had.”
Many people had questions about hot topics within agriculture such as genetically modified organisms and safe animal care.
“I had a good conversation with a lady about how we no longer keep our pigs outside and how we moved them inside to make them more comfortable, and how much we care for our animals,” Chinn said. “I think it really changed her perspective.”
Other activities included a youth zone, livestock barn, farm equipment showcase, and farmer’s market. Two popular Midwestern bands performed country music: SoulRoot and Broseph E. Lee. Misti Preston, director of Strategic Initiatives at the Missouri Department of Agriculture, said the bands are a favorite and draw the event together.
“When choosing musical talent, I always consider the audience and crowd draw,” Preston said.
Last year, FarmScape had 3,000 attendees and over 289,000 social media impressions. With a greater turnout than last year, FarmScape 2016 was seen as a success.
“We have had others not know that the white animals in the livestock zone were actually cattle,” Preston said. “We have seen kids ride on tractors that have never seen them before, try different foods in the farmer’s market and ask what a soybean is. Educating these kids is very rewarding. Consumer outreach is something that we must continue and FarmScape serves as the perfect avenue.”
According to Preston, the Missouri Department of Agriculture and all FarmScape sponsors hope to see this event grow in hopes that more people outside the agriculture industry can gain a better understanding.