UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension Expands Presence at Wisconsin State Fair

In a break from past years, UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension will exhibit and provide interactive activities for fairgoers of all ages every day of the 2017 Wisconsin State Fair from August 3 through 13, 2017. Staff, community volunteers and youth from Cooperative Extension programs will exhibit on the History of Dairy in Wisconsin, showcase Fossils of Wisconsin’s Past, help children and families make healthy choices at a model grocery store and much more. In partnership with Wisconsin 4-H, youth will showcase archery, kite-making, robotics and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities in Exploratory Park on the state fairgrounds located at 640 South 84th Street, West Allis, WI.

“Our staff work with local partners every day to highlight Wisconsin’s great hometown traditions like raising animals, helping young people to learn new skills and enjoying all the fun activities our great state has to offer,” said Dean Karl Martin. “Of course, participating in the Wisconsin State Fair is a tradition for Cooperative Extension.”

In previous years, Cooperative Extension participated as a single day sponsor. This year, the organization shifted to participation each day in order to reach more State Fair attendees. This expanded participation in Exploratory Park allows Cooperative Extension to showcase the diverse program areas and deep expertise of the staff in a dedicated space.

“We look forward to providing entertaining activities and a great experience for all who come visit us in State Fair’s Exploratory Park,” Martin said. “Then, we hope people will visit the Cooperative Extension office in their county to learn more about what our team does to bring resources from across the University System into local communities to address real-world issues.”

Cooperative Extension exhibits change daily and include:

 4-H Tech Wizards:  

Middle and elementary school members of this program from Racine will present interactive activities with a STEM focus. Try building and programming Lego MindStorms EV3 robots controlled with iPhones and iPads or see how a robotic hand works. They will also exhibit Roominate, which illustrates circuitry and mechanical engineering. 

AgrAbility of Wisconsin:  

How would you continue the physically challenging job of farming if you were injured or dealing with a disability? AgrAbility of Wisconsin promotes success in agriculture for farmers and their families living with a farm injury or other limitations. Come explore options to continue farm work through innovative assistive technology and learn more about how to help others in your family and community. 

Historic Dairy Innovations from the University of Wisconsin:   

From the Babcock Milkfat Test of 1890 to the adjustable micropipette invented in the 1970’s, come explore how UW researchers and extension educators have helped improve the breeding, feeding and housing of dairy cattle, as well as improve the quality of milk, cheese & ice cream.  Try your hand at using a $200 micropipette to measure and move milk like researchers do, improvise your own micropipette and take home a model of cattle DNA. Brought to you in partnership with the Wisconsin Science Museum. 

4-H Spin the Wheel and Learn:  

In 4-H, there are so many projects for you to explore from art to woodworking, computers to raising rabbits, clothing to engines. Take a spin of our project wheel to get a sampling of the fun ways you can learn and explore by joining 4-H in your community. 

Master Gardeners Model Backyard:  

Get inspired by visiting Wisconsin’s most beautiful fairground garden at the south end of Exploratory Park. 

UW-Extension Welcome Center:   

Learn about what we do in every county in Wisconsin and how we help university research solve real world problems for our citizens. Make a UW-Extension button to take home and use the button to connect with the Extension office in your community. 

Dollars During Development:  

Parents and children will learn about financial concepts and money through fun, hands-on activities including coin rubs, mystery bags, buried treasures, and puzzles. Join us for storytimes throughout the day. Brought to you by the Family Financial Security team’s ‘Dollars During Development’ Workgroup. 

Wisconsin’s “Bug Guy”:  

How many times have you seen a bug and thought, “What in the world is that?!?” Wisconsin’s bug identification guru will give you a hands-on experience in identifying insects found in our state. Maybe you will find a sample to take home (or maybe not!).  

4-H Shooting Sports (Archery):  

Presented by Milwaukee County 4-H, this interactive Hoverball exhibit features safe, soft, foam-tipped arrows aimed at rubber balls suspended in the air. The exhibit includes education activities from the Wildlife Habitat Education Program (WHEP), a 4-H and FFA natural resources program dedicated to teaching wildlife and fisheries habitat management to youth ages 8-19. 

Rocks & Fossils of Wisconsin's Past:  

The Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey will present a dazzling display of Wisconsin rocks and an interactive 3-D model of Wisconsin’s soils and bedrock. Scientists will be on hand to explain Wisconsin’s unique geology and hand out samples of fossils and Wisconsin’s own state rock! 

I want to be a better patient!: 

Learn about how to be a model patient and advocate for your own healthcare with this interactive display from our partners at Covering Wisconsin. Play the “Operation!” game and win valuable knowledge on how to keep yourself and your family healthy. 

FNV: We stand for fruits and veggies!: 

The FNV campaign is harnessing the power of marketing to promote fruits and veggies in the same way big brands market their products. Want to find out how to spread your love for fruits and veggies too? Stop by our booth to spin the wheel and win a prize, or just start snapping photos of your favorite fruits and veggies, cool ways you prepare them or tricks for getting them into your (or your kids'!) meals. 

Wisconsin Wildlife:  

Do you think wild animals are only found in forests and jungles? No way - wildlife isn’t limited just to the “wild.” Stop by to identify the various animals that can be found in urban and rural areas of the state and maybe even in YOUR neighborhood. 

4-H FoodSmart Families:  

Take a trip through the grocery store and pick healthy options on a fixed budget. At the checkout, learn how your choices compare to healthy guidelines for food intake. 4-H FoodSmart Families is a partnership with UnitedHealthcare. 

What’s wrong with my plants?!?: 

Are your flowers droopy? Are there spots on your tree’s leaves? Do you have a fairy ring in your backyard? Get answers to these and other plant-related questions from the Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic experts.   

Where does my water come from?:  

Come and learn about how water gets from the ground into your cup. Taste water samples and discover how and why water can have different flavors in different places. 

FoodWIse for Wisconsin Families:   

FoodWIse empowers Wisconsin residents to make healthy choices to achieve healthy lives regardless of your budget. Stop by for family games and activities, while learning strategies for making the healthier choice an easier choice. 

Applied Population Lab:  

What is the most popular dog in your neighborhood? Are there more children or more retired people in Wisconsin? Get the answers to these and other population questions. Try out our GetFacts online tool and win prizes for your knowledge of Wisconsin demography. Record your hometown on our map of the state and make your mark on the Wisconsin State Fair. 

Cooperative Extension…Not just in English any more!

Our interpreters use technology to mitigate communication barriers in real time. Try out our translation game and language based activities. Learn how to communicate with friends no matter what language they speak.

What kind of spender are you?: 

Explore and develop your skills around smart spending. We will have interactive activities for all ages to help you stay on a smart financial path.  

4-H “Let’s Go Fly a Kite”:  

Did you know that kites have been around for more than 3,000 years? Learn about this ancient art form and build your own 4-H kite to take home with you. 

UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension is a part of the University of Wisconsin System. Cooperative Extension works alongside the people of Wisconsin to improve lives and communities. Our educators deliver programs and provide expertise where people live and work – on the farm, in schools and in community centers. With offices in counties throughout Wisconsin and faculty and staff on UW Campuses, Cooperative Extension develops practical education programs tailored to local needs and based on university knowledge and research.