Perspectives Online

College has prominent presence at 2009 N.C. State Fair

The North Carolina State Fair had more visitors this year than ever, with a record-breaking attendance total of 877,941 for the fair’s 2009 11-day run. That means those thousands had opportunities to become acquainted with College of Agriculture and Life Sciences research, extension and teaching programs in areas such as biofuels, turfgrass, animal industry, 4-H, food and nutrition, environmental stewardship, water quality, horticulture, viticulture, livestock, poultry, entomology, crops and produce -- and more. Pictured below are some of the CALS-related activities on display at this year’s fair.

--Terri Leith

“N.C. State University is behind some of the best lawns in the state.” That was the message at the 2009 State Fair of this year’s turfgrass-themed display. The exhibit featured a grassy 30-foot by 15-foot North Carolina state map featuring prominent regional turfgrass types, including tall fescue, zoysiagrass, bermudagrass, centipedegrass and St. Augustinegrass sods, with a surrounding hillside planted in a perennial ryegrass. The map demonstrated the differences in grass colors, textures, mowing heights and seasonal temperature requirements, while allowing homeowners to see the grasses side by side. The display helped answer some of the most common questions that come from homeowners to the Turf Program, part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.Becky Kirkland photo

Throughout the fair were displays, exhibits and decorated hay bales commemorating the centennial celebration of North Carolina 4-H, Extension’s youth education program.
Becky Kirkland photo

Student members of the Animal Science Club in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences assist youngsters in the process of milking cows at the club’s popular Milking Booth at the 2009 N.C. State Fair. For a small fee, any fairgoer could milk a cow, with the help of a club member, and then receive a free carton of ice cold milk. In addition, at the fair club members operated the Cattleman's Steak Booth and the Animal Ark, and they served as ringmasters for the Junior Livestock Shows. Through these activities, the Animal Science Club had the opportunity to educate the public about agriculture and the livestock industry, while raising money for travel and event expenses.
Becky Kirkland photos

This interactive display from Cooperative Extension in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences clearly presented key information – including the best plants and soils -- for creating a rain garden.
Becky Kirkland photo

The message of thinking green and recycling was prominent at the 2009 N.C. State Fair. On display throughout the fair were animals sculpted from recycled materials, like the plastic shopping bags, paint can lids and old blinds used in creating this rooster.
Becky Kirkland photo

Eager customers line up early at the N.C. State Fresh Ice Cream Booth, home of the many flavors of Howling Cow Ice Cream and an annual favorite destination for fairgoers. Served up by Food Science Club students and faculty advisers from the CALS Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences Department, the ice cream is made fresh in the department’s Robert H. Feldman Dairy Processing Center with milk produced at the university’s Dairy Education Unit.
Terri Leith photo