Raising Nebraska Takes Top Honors in IAFE Awards Competition

GRAND ISLAND, NE—The new Raising Nebraska exhibit at the Nebraska State Fair raised eyebrows by taking top honors in two categories in an awards competition conducted by the International Association of Fairs & Exhibitions (IAFE). The award ceremony took place last week in Las Vegas, Nev.

Raising Nebraska took top honors in its division (250,000-500,000 fair attendance) for the best overall agricultural exhibit. The exhibit was also recognized with a first place award in the category for best new exhibit designed to promote agriculture.

Raising Nebraska is a 25,000 square foot interactive experience focused on "Your Food and the Families Who Grow It." The experience debuted at the 2014 Nebraska State Fair and is available year-round for educational groups and tours. Raising Nebraska was a collaborative effort between the Institute of

Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, the Nebraska State Fair and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

"Raising Nebraska was recognized for its unique and creative approach to helping consumers better understand how food gets from the farm to their tables—and the responsible choices that farmers and ranchers make every day to assure high quality, safe food," said Dr. Chuck Hibberd, dean of Nebraska Extension. "This experience will continue to evolve and we are already planning even more new and exciting experiences for the 2015 Nebraska State Fair."

Nebraska State Fair executive director, Joseph McDermott said, “The Nebraska State Fair has its roots in agriculture, and Raising Nebraska is a prime example of what we’re all about. There’s no question that from an agricultural education perspective, the display is second to none with leading edge technology, interactive exhibits and a firm handle on our state’s number one industry—Agriculture.”

Raising Nebraska includes a theater inside a grain bin, a virtual combine ride, a 50-foot walkable map of Nebraska, videos featuring farmers and ranchers, an interactive touchscreen dinner table, a modern demonstration kitchen and many other interactive and educational presentations.

"This effort was truly a collaboration of agricultural leaders, advocates and stakeholders across Nebraska and we could not have done it without each and every one of them," Hibberd added.

For more information on Raising Nebraska, visit www.RaisingNebraska.net.