Wednesday, October 22, 2014
   
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Round Barn Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

(Le Mars) -- Members of the Plymouth County Fair Board and representatives of the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee helped cut the ribbon, marking the official opening of the new exhibit "a ROUND the farm in the BARN" held Tuesday morning at the famous round barn located at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds.  Paul Jacobson, chairman of the Chamber Agriculture Committee told the gathering the history of the round barn and how it came to rest at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds.  Tony Schroeder, president of the Plymouth County Fair Board mentioned how the fair board was excited to learn of the Chamber Agriculture Committee's initiative to feature the round barn in a new and interactive agricultural education display. After stepping through the entryway, which resembles the frame of an old loft barn, visitors will immediately notice the various and colorful farm scenes from Plymouth County.  Both floors of the round barn are being utilized, with the upper level filled with displays from Iowa farm and commodity organizations.  Surrounding the wall of the grain silo are nearly 50 photos displaying the barn quilt patterns found on many Plymouth County farms.  Inside the silo, the Chamber Agriculture Committee pays tribute to the local country grain elevators located within Plymouth County.  Throughout both floors are posters that offer a bit of trivial information about Plymouth County agriculture, and the value-added food and packaging industries based within Plymouth County.  As for the interactive displays, the Chamber Agriculture committee features not one, but two different cabs representing a combine and a tractor.  Participants sit behind the steering wheel and operate the controls in a simulated harvest for the combine cab, or if they choose, they can operate the tractor and either till the ground, or plant the seed.  The participant has the choice to conduct a simulated harvest or spring field work either in the daytime, or at night.  On the first level is a kiosk called "My American Farmer" which allows the visitor to participate in at least 12 different agriculture-related games designed to appeal to all ages.  The upper level features a racing driving video game, much like one found in an arcade.  The object of the game is to drive a cross country course, using corn-based ethanol, and to avoid hitting gasoline cans scattered in the path. If the driver hits a gasoline can, the sky becomes filled with smog and pollution.  Upon using the can filled with ethanol, the air then clears.

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