Fair Oaks Farms dining hall funded with help of Farm Credit

Donation underscores Farm Credit's mission to invest in and support rural communities and agriculture.

A $500,000 donation from five Farm Credit entities helped build the Feedbarn, a children's dining hall on the Fair Oaks Farms campus in Fair Oaks, Ind.

Fair Oaks Farms is an agro-tourism destination in northwestern Indiana that provides youth and adults with opportunities to learn about modern farming practices that lead to food production.

The Feedbarn provides a single place for youth and families to enjoy lunch and dinner breaks during their farm tours. The new building is also equipped with educational resources on agriculture and sustainability.

Farm Credit's gift helps share the important role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable food.

“Telling agriculture's story is increasingly important in a society where more generations of Americans are removed from the farm,” Farm Credit Mid-America president and chief executive officer Bill Johnson said. “From watching piglets being born to understanding the milking parlor, Fair Oaks provides guests the opportunity to learn about 21st-century agriculture in engaging and entertaining ways.”

The five Farm Credit contributing partners are: Farm Credit Mid-America, AgriBank, Farm Credit Services of America, Farm Credit Illinois and First Farm Credit Services. Cargill also made a contribution toward the building and supported the development of the interactive, educational kiosks and curriculum that will be part of the Feedbarn facility.

The Feedbarn is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. A grand opening will be held in conjunction with Fair Oaks Farms' "Fair in the Air" event in May 2017.

Fair Oaks Farms opened to the public in 2004 with a 22,000 sq. ft. dairy educational center called The Dairy Adventure. Today, Fair Oaks Farms annually welcomes more than 500,000 visitors from across the world — many of whom are elementary school students — and now includes The Pig Adventure and The Crop Adventure. Fair Oaks Farms' future plans are to expand its portfolio of agricultural experiences to include eggs, cattle, sheep and goats.

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