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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

July 19, 2007

Iowa State Fair

ISU at the state fair: "Sounds Like Fun!"

by Erin Rosacker

During Iowa State's year of sesquicentennial celebration, it is only natural that the university's exhibit at the Iowa State Fair will feature a historical look back on the institution's 150 years of serving Iowans. The fair runs Aug. 9 through 19 under the theme "Sounds Like Fun!"

"The exhibit focuses on the university's sesquicentennial and our 150-year history," said Carole Custer, university marketing director. "It focuses on the achievements and major milestones of the university."

Above the heads of visitors to the exhibit, a 21-foot color timeline will illustrate "Celebrating 150 Years of Adventurous Minds." The two-sided display will be a beacon in the northeast corner of the Varied Industries Building, open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily during the fair.

"We will have artifacts loaned from various departments on campus that have a significant place in our history," Custer said. "These are historical items that many people don't get a chance to see."

Eight displays will showcase items that range from the scientific to the odd. One display will feature wrestler Cael Sanderson's accomplishments, including his Olympic gold medal. Another will spotlight the original memory drum of John Atanasoff's ABC computer that was on display at the Smithsonian Institute. Yet another will hold the last remaining piece of ISU's Rice Krispies Treat that set a Guinness world record in 2001 -- an 8-inch-by-5-inch chunk of the 2,480-pound original.

But the past is not the only part of Iowa State's fair exhibit. Custer said the future will be highlighted in a 10-foot display titled "The 150-year Adventure Continues."

"We will be spotlighting some of the research the university is undertaking that has major significance in addressing some of the world's greatest challenges," Custer said.

This glimpse of ISU's research includes work in biofuels and renewables, bioterrorism, alternative uses for crops and cancer treatments.

In addition to Cyclone tattoos and football schedule posters, ISU representatives will be handing out free copies of the commemorative sesquicentennial publication printed by Visions magazine. A pair of computers will offer visitors access to the admissions Web site and the University Book Store will be on site selling Iowa State merchandise.

Daily drawings will be held, featuring prizes that include sesquicentennial T-shirts and tickets to Cyclone football games and Iowa State Center performances. Cy will make appearances Aug. 10 (10 a.m.) and Aug. 17 (2 p.m.). The sesquicentennial commemorative art mural "What We Love About Iowa State University" created by Sticks, Inc. also will be on display.

"Iowa State has been serving this state for 150 years and the citizens of Iowa should be proud of what this university has contributed," Custer said. "This is our way of sharing with the public some of our historic accomplishments and what the future impact of the university will be."

A stitch in time

The Iowa State Fair is helping ISU celebrate its 150th birthday by organizing a pair of quilting contests with the sesquicentennial theme. Both contests were open to Iowa residents, as well as out-of-state ISU graduates.

Entries in the quilt block contest will be assembled into a quilt that will be auctioned at the end of the fair. This quilt will be displayed on the second level (south side) of the Varied Industries Building, along with entries in a special category: bed-sized/wall quilt using the ISU sesquicentennial theme.

Extension and 4-H

Enjoying its second year in the air-conditioned 4-H Exhibits Building, ISU Extension will focus on its programs and history. The building also is home to a variety of 4-H department displays and thousands of 4-H exhibits. WOI Radio will join Extension at the fair, broadcasting Talk of Iowa (11 a.m.-noon), Midday (noon-1 p.m.) and market reports.

Elaine Edwards, Extension communications manager, said a selection of historical photos will be on display as part of a "caption contest." Visitors can submit balloon captions for the photos.

Daily visits by Cy (with photo opportunities) and a youth scavenger hunt are part of a year-long 4-H membership drive. Youngsters who complete the scavenger hunt, which visits the different departments throughout the building, will earn a prize.

"Hopefully, they'll learn what 4-H is all about and things young people can do as a part of 4-H," said Mitch Hoyer, 4-H youth development program coordinator. "We think that they may be surprised at all of the opportunities that are out there."

Hands-on Extension activities will be available throughout the fair, including a chance for the public to help make "Camo Coolers" Aug. 15. These reusable cooling neckbands are for soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The project is organized by Operation: Military Kids interns and Speak Out for Military Kids team members.

Just inside the main entrance of the building, the 4-H Foundation will launch an auction fund-raiser on eBay. The auction begins the first day of the fair (Aug. 9) and runs through the Clay County Fair (Sept. 8-16). The foundation will have computer stations available, giving visitors the opportunity to place bids. The list of auction items includes a NASCAR ticket package, 2007 Volkswagen Beetle, artwork, fishing trips, golf packages and gift baskets. The complete list is available online.

Throughout the fairgrounds, 4-H members will exhibit approximately 6,300 livestock (poultry, sheep, swine, cattle, goats, horses, rabbits and dogs) and horticulture entries. Mike Anderson, 4-H ag program coordinator, said the methods used for identification of livestock entries -- DNA hair samples and nose prints - also will include some retinal imaging, which was piloted at 14 county fairs this year.

It's a girl!

The College of Veterinary Medicine is partnering with the Iowa State Fair and the Iowa Veterinary Association on a birthing center project in the just-opened Animal Learning Center located near the "Little Hands on the Farm" exhibit on the north end of the fairgrounds.

The air-conditioned building will showcase the livestock birthing process, with cattle, swine, sheep, chicken and ducks bred to have offspring during the fair. A number of presentations will take place throughout the fair in the stage area of the building.

The Vet Med college is providing the cattle for the display, and vet students and at least one faculty member will be on hand to help with the program.

"We anticipate that we'll have 4,000 people go by," said Jim West, director of ISU's Food Supply Veterinary Services. "The chance to have that number of people see agriculture at its best and veterinary medicine at its best; we think it's cool."


By the numbers

10 "Winner's Circle" scholarships available exclusively to ISU students

11 days the Iowa State Fair runs (Aug. 9-19)

12 ISU cows bred to calve in the Animal Learning Center during the fair

99 counties represented in the 4-H Exhibits Building

110 ISU faculty/staff volunteers will be manning the ISU exhibit in the Varied Industries Building

150 birthday Iowa State is celebrating

200 "Camo Coolers" expected to be made in one day

1,633 4-H clubs in Iowa

5,000 (at least) 4-H exhibitors participating

20,000 free copies of Visions' sesquicentennial commemorative timeline to be handed out