UNION CITY, Tenn.—Today, Discovery Park of America announced the initial sponsors and partners for “AgriCulture: Innovating for Our Survival.” The permanent exhibit, dedicated to telling the story of innovation in agriculture, will open Oct. 22, 2020 and will be located in the 8,900-square-foot building that currently houses the museum and heritage park’s antique tractor exhibit. The building will be named the Simmons Bank Ag Center.
Because innovation in the field of agriculture is always changing, an important part of the exhibit will be a state-of-the-art main stage sponsored by Nutrien Ag Solutions. In addition to being used by Discovery Park’s educators on a regular basis, the space will be made available to others in the community for agriculture-related teaching, programs and special events.
“Innovation is core to Nutrien Ag Solutions,” says Brent Smith, Vice President of Marketing + Innovation at Nutrien Ag Solutions. “We are excited to be part of Discovery Park’s agriculture exhibit, as they work to educate park goers on our industry and the importance of agricultural innovation to feed the world now and in the future.”
“A top 40 farm lender in the United States, Simmons Bank has been committed to supporting farmers and helping our communities prosper for more than 100 years now,” said Tony Gregory, Executive Vice President and Tennessee division president. “We believe this exhibit will be a wonderful tribute to agriculture’s rich history while also celebrating the innovations taking place in the field today.”
In addition to Simmons Bank and Nutrien Ag Solutions, other confirmed major sponsors of the exhibit are the Tennessee Corn Promotion Board, Tennessee Farm Bureau, Tennessee Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom and the Tennessee Soybean Promotional Board.
Supporting sponsors currently confirmed include AgLaunch Initiative; Obion County Farm Bureau; Danny Larcom Heating & Air; Tennessee Department of Agriculture; Tennessee Tractor; Tosh Farms; Will Wade and Pat Wade.
More sponsors and partners will be announced soon.
A landing page has also been launched that will allow individuals and families to make a pledge to contribute to the funding of the exhibit. Everyone who provides a gift of any amount will be included as a “Champion of Agriculture” on the exhibit’s partnership wall.
“When we open the doors of this exhibit, it will be the most interactive, state-of-the-art experience about innovation in agriculture in any museum or attraction in the world today,” said Scott Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Park. “We’re immensely grateful to all our sponsors, partners and those who have been helping the team with content development. All of us are passionate about creating a fun, interactive way to tell the story of how those in agriculture today are working to develop new ways to sustainably provide food, fuel and fiber for a growing population.”
As companion pieces for the permanent exhibit, Discovery Park will be producing education materials for school groups of all ages and will also be hosting panel discussions, programs and product demonstrations on the topic of innovation in agriculture throughout the year. Since opening, the museum has done this for a variety of subjects including STEM, art, music and history, but this will be the first time there will be a focus on agriculture.
Some of this programming will be led by AgLaunch Initiative and will feature entrepreneurship modules that highlight opportunities to solve global food and agriculture problems by creating new ventures. AgLaunch Initiative will also be part of a “what’s next” section of the exhibit produced with a variety of mediums and tools to showcase emerging innovations in agriculture that are creating new opportunities for farmers and entrepreneurs.
Louisville, KY-based Solid Light, a leader in the exhibit design and fabrication field, has been working on the content of the exhibit since being selected to head the project in August.
“Those at Solid Light who have been working with the Discovery Park team on this exhibit have now heard from hundreds of agriculture professionals and farmers in focus groups and individual meetings,” said Cynthia Torp, Solid Light’s owner and president. “We’re now beginning to pull all the ideas together and looking for the best stories, artifacts and exhibit components that will create the ‘mind-blowing, myth-busting farming exhibit’ that we’ve promised.”
When opened, “AgriCulture: Innovating for Our Survival” in the Simmons Bank Ag Center will include sections on past farming innovations that changed the world, careers in agriculture, modern tools used by farmers today and an exploration of how enough food, fuel and fiber will be provided to meet the needs of a growing population. Also explored will be issues that can sometimes be both confusing and controversial including precision ag, animal welfare, chemicals, GMOs, organics and sustainability.
For more information on “AgriCulture: Innovating for Our Survival,” visit DiscoveryParkofAmerica.com/Agriculture.
About Discovery Park of America
The mission of Discovery Park of America, a premier world-class museum and 50-acre heritage park located in Union City, Tennessee, is to inspire children and adults to see beyond. Included is a 100,000-square-foot museum featuring 10 interactive exhibit galleries with additional space for temporary exhibits from around the world and a 50-acre heritage park. Discovery Park of America is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations including its principal funder, the Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Foundation. For more information, visit DiscoveryParkofAmerica.com, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
|Simmons Bank leadership from throughout the West Tennessee region enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of the planning for the agriculture exhibit currently underway at Discovery Park of America. While there, they presented a check for sponsorship of this important, new initiative that will educate the public about innovation in agriculture. (left to right) Jennifer McClure, Jackson; Danny Watson, Dyersburg; Kara Nicodemus, Union City; Shane Dodson, Troy; Brooke Carson, Kenton; Regen Thornton, Brownsville; Mary Nita Bondurant, Discovery Park of America; Christy Johnson, Union City; Joe Emery, Dyersburg; Scott Williams, Discovery Park of America; Jennifer Chandler, Union City; David Spencer, Kenton; Tony Gregory, Goodlettsville; Jeff Capps, Martin; Justin Stokes, Union City; Lisa Isbell, Union City; Chuck Newell, Jackson; Andrea Hughes, Martin and Regina Vickers, Martin. (.jpg)
|Discovery Park of America Director of Exhibits, Jennifer Wildes (left) and CEO, Scott Williams (right) share agriculture exhibit plans with Nutrien Ag Solutions General Manager of the Tennessee/West Kentucky Division, Todd Theobald. (.jpg)
Tennessee Corn Promotion Board, Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program; Tennessee Farm Bureau, Tennessee Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom and the Tennessee Soybean Promotional Board