Farmamerica Bushels

(File photo/southernminn.com)

Greetings from Farmamerica, Minnesota’s Agricultural Interpretive Center, just west of Waseca. We strive to connect people of all ages to the evolving story of agriculture by offering hands-on field trips, family-friendly themed events, day camps, information sharing, and walking tours of historic farm sites.

In this monthly column, I look forward to keeping you informed about the fun, outdoor events we have scheduled throughout the year at Farmamerica, and along the way you may learn a bit more about farming and what’s happening in the fields around you during each season.

Amidst the hustle to get ready for the holidays, this remains a season of thanksgiving. May we all find a moment to be still and be thankful, and within that moment discover even the smallest ways we can give back to others, to our communities, and charities of our choice as a way to spread thanksgiving.

We too reflect on all we have to be thankful for at Farmamerica. We are forever grateful for our volunteers who help with everything from events and interpretations, to repairs and maintenance.

We are thankful for our sponsors and business partners who support our non-profit’s mission through their donation of time, knowledge, seed, crop protection, and grant dollars.

Over one-third of our annual operating budget relies on a productive harvest from the fields we farm. We are thankful for the rain we did receive and the damaging winds we did not receive.

Farmamerica was founded in 1978. We are rooted in the community and rooted in rural Minnesota’s rich agricultural history that we interpret through our collection of historic buildings and farm equipment.

And we are growing. We are thankful for this community and our friends who support Farmamerica through donations and by attending our events. We had record attendance with over 740 admissions sold to our recent Pumpkin Party celebration! We are optimistic that that this type of attendance will become the norm for our themed events.

Farmamerica is evolving and expanding just as the Minnesota agriculture industry continues to evolve and expand to meet the growing demands of a growing global population.

If you find yourself giving thanks and looking for ways to give back to the community, consider a donation of time or money to Farmamerica.

We only need another $213,000 to reach our goal of $850,000 for our Rooted & Growing capital campaign to expand and renovate our existing facilities to include an upgraded classroom space, new year-round programs for all ages, an inclusive playground, and interactive exhibits and experiences about agriculture’s impact on everyday life. These new experiences will help visitors better understand today’s agricultural practices and to feel more connected to today’s farmers and the millions of workers who help bring agricultural products to us every day.

Check in with me each month for a progress report on these new exhibits and programs, for family event updates, and field reports. Most importantly, find time to be still and thankful.

Jessica Rollins is the executive director of Farmamerica, Minnesota’s agricultural interpretive center.

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