Fair Oaks Farms broke ground May 21 on a new Pork Education Center that will be located on the main campus.
The center will extend the reach of The Pig Adventure at Fair Oaks Farms and further tell the story of modern pork production.
The 7,000-square-foot Pork Education Center will be built directly to the west of the Fair Oaks Farms Birthing Barn. The center will contain a sky trail ropes course that will contain pig factoids as visitors reach higher levels. It also will focus on the many uses of pork products and be a boarding area for The Pig Adventure bus tours.
The Pork Education Center will contain a 600 sq. ft. distance learning facility for virtual field trips; an interactive area outlining medical uses for pigs; a nutrition and health area discussing pork, recipes and cuts of meat; an area outlining pork use around the world, and an area dedicated to innovations in pig science.
Only 1% of us make our living from agriculture. At the same time, consumers are more informed than ever. They care where their food comes from. We want to educate and provide a venue for that dialogue, said Mike McCloskey, chairman of Fair Oaks Farms, during the groundbreaking festivities.
Ted McKinney, director, Indiana State Department of Agriculture, called Fair Oaks Farms “a shining star,” saying that it is one of Indiana’s greatest attributes in the area of agriculture. “It’s not b-roll or a blog on a web page. These are high intensity farms that produce lots of milk and meat,” he noted.
John Johnson, chief operating officer at the National Pork Board (NPB), said the Pork Education Center is about giving consumers the confidence that they desire in their food. The NPB is a major donor to the new center.
The Pork Education Center is on track to open in the spring of 2015.