The Minnesota State Fair is known for bringing people from across the state together. With food being an overwhelming favorite of most attendees, the state fair is a common ground for farmers and consumers to interact.
The Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion (MSR&PC) partnered with the Minnesota FFA Association to host Soybean Day on Sept. 1. Soybean Day is an educational experience for fair goers, as they had a chance to play soybean trivia, Plinko and win a soy-based prize. Numerous soybean farmers helped with the trivia, asking questions about soybeans and its products.
“The trivia questions allowed participants to learn about the wide variety of uses that soybeans have,” said Minnesota soybean farmer and MSR&PC Vice President Craig Bangasser. “Many of them were surprised that soy is found in many of their household items.”
“I knew that soybeans were used to feed animals but I never realized that soy was used in products like margarine, mayo and makeup,” said trivia participant Cindy Morgan from Forest Lake, Minn. “I wasn’t aware that there were so many ways that soybeans could be used.”
The soybean tent was set up outside the FFA Leadership and Chapter House and CHS Miracle of Birth Center. With the help of FFA students, children were also able to make a “Soy Boy” necklace, which contains a soybean and damp cotton ball. Children were asked what they predicted would happen to the “Soy Boy” while being able to ask questions about germination.
“Being a part of FFA, we believe that it is important to learn about agriculture by using hands-on activities and projects,” said Minnesota State FFA Reporter Madison Taylor. “We use activities to spark their interest in agriculture and develop a basic understanding of things like soybeans.”
Inside the FFA Leadership and Chapter House, MSR&PC donated its water table, allowing FFA students to discuss farming conservation efforts with those that stopped by.
“It is important that we, as farmers, are here at the state fair,” Bangasser said. “It is an opportunity to meet with the non-agriculture community and let them know what we are doing on our farm. The state fair is a great platform to answer their questions, tell our story and explain that we all share the commonality of being a consumer and user of water. A lot of great conversations happened.”