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Oregon ag exhibit coming to a county fair near you

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Oregon’s county fair season hits its stride next week with a visually attractive exhibit that reminds Oregonians just how important agriculture is:

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It’s an effort to bring county fairs back to their agricultural roots:

BARTON:  “We are rolling out a new exhibit that we are calling ‘Telling the Oregon Agriculture Story’. We are very excited about having this go out to several county fairs this year and even more next year.”  :11

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Laura Barton with the Oregon Department of Agriculture says the mobile exhibit should catch the eye of fair goers this summer:

BARTON:  “It will be very visual and colorful. We think it will attract and draw people to come and look at some of the beautiful photography of the different crops and the areas of the state where these crops and products are grown as well as some great facts and information.”  :16

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The exhibit is paid for by the federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and will provide a statewide focus on agriculture’s contribution to the economy but also contain specific information about county agriculture in the communities where the fairs are located. The Marion County Fair is the first of seven to host the exhibit followed by Jackson, Coos, Curry, Benton, Umatilla, and Clackamas county fairs. With more than one and a half million visitors attending county fairs in Oregon last year, chances are good that many fair goers this summer will learn more about agriculture. In Salem, I’m Bruce Pokarney.

Additional audio: Audio 03
BARTON says county fairs provide a great venue to teach Oregonians more about the importance of agriculture:

“When you think about a county fair, I call them a pop-up village. You have all kinds of demographics, all kinds of people, and all kinds of activities at a fair. All ages will be at a fair. To be able to relate the fact that the number of farms and ranches in the county, the number of agriculture jobs and what it represents to the state’s economy I think is a really an important fact to share.”  :22

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Additional audio: Audio 04
BARTON says the exhibit is an attempt to bring county fairs back to their agricultural roots while offering Oregonians a chance to learn more about an important part of the state’s economy:

“One-point-five million visitors came through county fairs last year. That’s a huge opportunity to connect the citizens of Oregon to Oregon agriculture.”  :09

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