September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.

Moo Booth gets a facelift

Fairgoers can enjoy the new look at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair

By Jennifer Borash- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota State Fair enthusiasts are in for a treat this year. The Moo Booth is getting a facelift. The new look will be open for visitors to enjoy at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair, Aug. 27 through Sept. 7.

"It would be wrong to say the messages of the Moo Booth are completely changing," Ana Heath said. "But the delivery of these messages is going to be enhanced."

Heath is the Annual Giving Manager of the Minnesota State Fair Foundation. She has worked with the Foundation for two years and is involved with raising funds for the new Moo Booth.

"The Minnesota State Fair Foundation has been around for seven years with a mission to restore the historical buildings on the State Fairgrounds and enhance the educational opportunities offered," Heath said. "One of the reasons the State Fair was created 150 years ago was to educate the public."

The State Fair has developed agricultural education programming to bring the process of food production closer to the consumers. Past projects include Little Farm Hands, a hands-on display showing children how food gets from the farm to the market place, and the CHS Miracle of Birth Center where fair guests witness farm animals giving birth.

Originally, the Moo Booth was built in the dairy barn at the State Fair in 1991. It has served to educate fairgoers about all aspects of the dairy and beef industry in conjunction with the milking parlor, which was built in 1984 as a means of showing fairgoers the milking process and taking their dairy understanding of dairy products to another level.

"There is so much we consumers don't think about when it comes to the cattle industry," Heath said. "Where does milk come from? How does it get from the cow to the grocery store? How many different kinds of cows are there and why are there different kinds of cows? The Moo Booth tries to answer these questions."

When the Foundation began looking at possibilities for their next project, updating the Moo Booth was a logical choice.

"The fair is a place where rural and urban people come together. For many city people, the fair is their only opportunity to see and interact with livestock," Heath said. "This is an excellent opportunity to educate people on where their food comes from."

With preparations of the new and improved Moo Booth underway, and construction ready to begin in the near future, Heath said the actual process will occur in a number of phases. There will be an initial facelift of the building followed by several reconfigurations of the space.

"The footprint of the new Moo Booth will remain more or less the same," Heath said.

Although the new Moo Booth will remain in the same area as the old one, the overall look of the booth will change, as well as the methods used to educate consumers throughout. There will be more interactive learning stations, which will incorporate multimedia technology to help fairgoers better understand how today's beef and dairy industries work. The new exhibits will also show the role technology plays in modern operations.

"This is an opportunity for the State Fair and for the Moo Booth campaign committees to really promote the Moo Booth in a new way ... to present the information in a way that will resonate with more people coming to the fair," Heath said.

Just as the new Moo Booth will remain in the same location, it will also be run in much the same way it has been run in the past - by many generous volunteers.

"The campaign to build a new Moo Booth and the day-to-day operations of the Moo Booth rely heavily on the time and expertise of volunteers. Doris Mold, who has been superintendent of the Moo Booth since it was created, gives leadership to the new programming elements and the operation of the Moo Booth and Milking Parlor," Heath said. "We have been very fortunate to have a lot of really great volunteers."

Heath said the Foundation has also been fortunate in all of the financial support it has received for the Moo Booth project.

"This is a $1 million project. So far, we have reached approximately 75 percent of our goal, and we do anticipate making our goal. Well over 300 individuals and organizations have supported this project to date," Heath said. "We have been very fortunate to enjoy the support of people involved in the cattle industry."

So, as you are walking along the streets of the State Fairgrounds this year, munching on a corndog, taking in the sights and enjoying the few remaining days of summer, remember the State Fair's educational roots and head over to view the new Moo Booth.[[In-content Ad]]


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