11 July 2015 - 980 WITY

Barnyard Discoveries

Bob Iverson interviews Barnyard Discoveries at the 2015 I&I Historic Farm Days.

and as to our crime days is Bob Iverson

and we're at the barnyard discoveries I tell it so what's your name and what are you doing here with barnyard discoveries my name is Ron Watson and barnyard discoveries is my business that that we bring that we go out and visit community events and things of that nature it's a full farm exhibit we have fully enclosed 32 foot trailer that we keep the animals in but it's also got a lot of educational and other variety of other information in there as well so the kids of course enjoy seeing the animals but this is a chance for them to learn something about the animals it is it's when we originally developed it it was we've we've got to set it up so that's fully handicapped accessible we've got it set up where there are low pins inside and naturally the animals are the draw that bring people in but we like to try to keep everything else in sight educational as first we have a lot of various signage inside that we've worked with various organizations with American Farm Bureau with the Illinois farm Bureau with the you know soil and water conservation several the green commodity groups and things like that that we have actually developed some information that

we've got posted in there and then we also have a large screen video that we also play in there that has a that always has messages about farming and shows a lot of farm equipment working in fields from planting built through harvest and a lot of other informational things that are contained on the video as well now living in agricultural area we tend to think that people children know about things going on in the farm but if they live inside the city even in small towns they don't get how to actually see the animals they see the animals on the farm in the fields but they don't actually get the touch them like this no that's one have been one of the big surprises to me too is then the fact that when I originally started I thought we'd probably be you know I knew that we would have a market in the urban area but we've gone out we've actually done school visits this spring we did school visits in 10 surrounding counties and a lot of that is rural area we're from the Peoria Area ourselves so we have the Peoria and Bloomington market but most of the others are a lot of rural areas and so we find that we're going

out into those rural school districts as well and it's not there are a lot so many people with the trend being to move to the country or to have you know a small acreage in the country and things like that you know just because they live in the country doesn't mean the kids to have exposure to far more or to agriculture at all anymore what's the favorite animal of the kids yeah that's I that is always a hard one to tell because we everybody seems to pick out a favorite they all rush in and they all think that they can they like the their own favorite first but we've got its we've got one hour miniature horse that we have that's kind of at the very entrance of the whole trailer because we've tried to move him several times but he's kind of the self appointed ambassador because he doesn't like to be in any other pen he likes to be the one that welcomes everybody there and he'll stand there all day long with his head over the fence waiting for pets and then we have the the miniature goats are always a big kick because they come up to the fence and try to nibble on the kids and things like that they enjoy touching the sheep's wool the pig is

probably the first time experience for so many of the kids we run into or so many of our visitors that have never touched a pig before we've got the the chickens at a lot of people who've never even touched a live chicken and then we also we always have a jersey dairy calf with us and as far as the the Jersey dairy calf the cute factor waves pretty heavily there so that makes him popular too I can hear him in the background letting us know he's there yeah he's learned that we're in the process of weaning right now so it's a it's not necessarily going too well right now so each of the animals has their own little job to do because the kids come to they really do and it's a young most of them it you know we keep them in there it's been it works out to be a pretty good assortment as far as you know there are a lot of other you know there are a lot of other businesses or petting zoo type things I guess you would comment call them that go out with a variety of exotic animals and things like that and that's not our intention our intention is be more of an 4ad agriculture we want to be that that link between the farmer and the

consumers and so we like to go out and bring the basic farm animals and you know use them to initiate a dialogue that we can actually educate consumers as far as what the farmers do for a living where their food comes from and how important agriculture is in all of our communities one more interesting thing you can do at the historic farm days for WI T why I'm Bob Iverson

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