ISU state fair exhibit hits home

AMES, Iowa - Visitors to Iowa State University's exhibit at the Iowa State Fair (Aug. 11-21) are invited to take a walk down an air-conditioned "Main Street" in the Varied Industries Building.

This year's exhibit theme is "From biorenewables to Main Street, Iowa State is making your life better." In a mere 55 feet, guests can experience a streetscape that sequences from rural to urban Iowa, and focuses on Iowa State's contributions to the bioeconomy and Iowa communities.

"The exhibit demonstrates how Iowa State is a part of the fabric of the citizenry of Iowa," said University Marketing Director Carole Custer. "It will be demonstrated in many different ways, but they all are focused on the university's value to the state."

In the neighborhood

While strolling through the streetscape, visitors will discover several displays worth a long look. Highlights include:

  • A farmers' market, showcasing ways ISU helps growers extend their growing seasons and increase yields
  • A spotlight on Iowa's booming wine industry, which benefits from ISU viticulture experts
  • A mammoth-sized square bale of corn stover, just one example of cutting-edge biorenewables research and products being developed by ISU's Bioeconomy Institute
  • An interactive display showing the Small Business Development Center's work, including an aquatic feature about flood disaster recovery
  • Iowa State temporary tattoo applications at the "tattoo parlor"
  • ISU pride points and alumni features in the latest edition posted at the newspaper office
  • Subtle Iowa State references in unexpected areas (hint: check out the graffiti in Cyclone Alley)

Proof in the pictures

A video display will show before-and-after photos of Iowa communities that participated in visioning projects. And, with the help of Iowans before the fair, another monitor will feature photographic evidence of how Iowa State is making a difference in communities.

Iowans are encouraged to submit their photos to the project in the days leading up to and during the state fair. Photos can feature ISU-related people or and projects that have made an impact locally. Submissions can be uploaded to the ISU Extension website or by using "Main Street Engaging ISU," a free iTunes application ISU Extension and Outreach developed for mobile devices.

Giveaways, merchandise and special guests

In addition to the 30,000-plus Iowa State tattoos and football posters being given away, daily prize drawings will be held. A pair of tickets to the Sept. 3 Cyclone football season opener vs. Northern Iowa, two tickets to the Sept. 21 ISU volleyball match vs. Missouri, and an ISU state fair commemorative T-shirt (marking the 100th anniversary of the famous butter cow) will be awarded each day during the fair.

University Book Store will be a part of the exhibit with special Iowa State merchandise for the fair, and Cy will make an occasional appearance.

ISU President Gregory Geoffroy and other senior administrators also are scheduled to stop by the booth to visit with fairgoers.

4-H: More than just livestock

You can't have a fair without 4-H. The 4-H Exhibits Building will be packed with projects, displays and interactive learning presentations. This year's team competitions include:

  • Film Festival, Aug. 12
  • Robotics challenge, Aug. 13-14
  • Cook This! culinary challenge, Aug. 15-17
  • Stitch This! design challenge, Aug. 19-20

Flat Duffy the Cow -- on tour

ISU Extension and Outreach will be represented with a painted, concrete cow at the Iowa State Fair, one of a herd that will be scattered throughout the fairgrounds in honor of the butter cow's 100th anniversary. Thanks to suggestions through Facebook and Twitter, the Extension and Outreach team named their cow Duffy in memory of ISU alumna and legendary Iowa State Fair butter cow sculptor Norma "Duffy" Lyon. A flat, paper version of Duffy is going on tour, wherever you decide to take her. Download, print and cut out a Flat Duffy, take her photo in interesting places, and then upload the photos to Facebook.

Doctors making house calls

Dr. Bruce Leuschen, a clinician in diagnostic and production animal medicine, once again will serve as the state fair's veterinarian. Fellow clinician Dr. Brian Vanderley and four ISU veterinary medicine students will assist him. They are responsible for the health of the thousands of animals being exhibited, as well as those participating in competitions such as the rodeo and harness racing.

Dr. Giuseppe Dell'Anna, a veterinarian in Laboratory Animal Resources, will be working with children taking part in the popular Vet Camp programs. Participants get hands-on learning experiences with animal health and welfare. A new, advanced vet camp also is being offered this year, which gives camp alumni a look at topics such as surgery, wellness and reproduction.