INDIANPOLIS - Sometimes called the "miracle crop," soybeans and their products help feed the world, provide shelter and even power vehicles. Soybeans play a prominent and versatile role in our diet and economy and that's why the Indiana Soybean Alliance and the Indiana State Fair have proclaimed 2011 as "The Year of Soybeans."
The Indiana soybean industry is the fifth largest in the country. Soybeans have a $2.5 billion impact on Indiana and feed millions of people as a feed ingredient for livestock and other food products.
"Many people don't understand the versatility of this mighty little bean that is growing throughout our state," said the Indiana Soybean Alliance's Hannah Brescher. "We want to take this opportunity to teach consumers about how soybeans can be found in many other things, from the meat they eat in the form of soybean meal fed to livestock, to the biodiesel fueling their school busses, to the oil they use for baking and frying."
Through its partnership with the Indiana Soybean Alliance, the Indiana State Fair hopes to share the importance of soybeans to Hoosiers with a number of fun soybean related activities.
The list of scheduled "Year of Soybeans" events and activities includes:
- The Incredible Soybean Exhibit (Pioneer Hi-Bred Our Land Pavilion): This exhibit features soybean information and interactive games. It also serves as the meeting place for soybean farmers and the hub for all things soybean!
- State Fair Gift Shop presented by Indiana Soybean Farmers (Main Street): On the outside, the Gift Shop has been adorned with a number of soy-fed farm animals and giant soybeans. On the inside, soybean souvenirs, including men's ties, ladies scarves, soybean candles and t-shirts, are available for purchase.
- Habitat for Humanity Home Build created with soybean products: Soybean products are being used to construct the home being built on the fairgrounds' north side. Processed soybeans are in the paint, insulation and carpet.
- Shoup's Barbecue Competition (State Fair Blvd.): This competition, featuring many meat products from soy-fed livestock, takes place Saturday, Aug. 13.
- Indiana Soybean and Cornhole Toss Tourney presented by Indiana Corn and Soybean Farmers (Hoosier Lottery Grandstand Side Lot): The tournament will take place Aug. 19-21.
- Soybean Mural (Ellison Bakery Home & Family Arts Building): A large, hand-painted soybean mural created by different local artists will be on display through the fair.
- Soy Cooking Demonstrations (Ellison Bakery Home & Family Arts Building): Dietician Kim Galeaz demonstrates how to cook with this versatile bean on Aug. 17 at 10 a.m. and Aug. 20 at 10 a.m.
- Bennie the Bean: The Indiana Soybean Alliance mascot will be on hand in the Pioneer Our Land Pavilion and appear at many other soybean related events. He can also be found on Twitter at @Benniethebean.
The State Fair has been featuring one important Indiana agricultural community since 2007. Previous products featured include pigs, tomatoes, trees (hardwoods) and corn.
About the Indiana Soybean Alliance
The Alliance is led by a single farmer board that is responsible for investing Indiana's soybean check-off funds and working with state and federal policymakers to promote policies that benefit Indiana's soybean farmers. For more information, visit http://www.indianasoybean.com/.
About the Indiana State Fair
The Indiana State Fair is the state's largest multi-day event attracting more than 900,000 people annually. Nationally recognized for offering the best in entertainment, showcasing youth, interactive agriculture education programs, premiere facilities and a variety of unique, fun foods, the Indiana State Fair is an annual tradition for generations of Hoosiers. Admission is $7 in advance, $8 at the gate - kids 5 and younger are free. For more information, please visit http://www.indianastatefair.com/.
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