Exciting Stories of Innovation will be told in the New Agriculture Exhibit
Discovery Park of America is excited to share a glimpse of the new agriculture exhibit, “AgriCulture: Innovating for Our Survival,” that will open Dec. 5, 2020. This mind-blowing, myth-busting exhibit will help visitors of all ages gain a better understanding of how food, fuel and fiber get from the farm to the family and the role technological, scientific and genetic innovation in agriculture plays in society and culture around the world.
This exhibit will feature farming innovation in the past, present—and especially—future in a fun and interactive way. Stories of individuals who are leaders in the field of agriculture will also be shared.
Do you want to be a permanent part of this exhibit? Everyone who gives a gift of any amount will be included as a “Champion of Agriculture” on the exhibit’s partnership wall and will receive two complimentary tickets to the VIP opening event.
NASCAR Driver Ross Chastain
Eighth-generation watermelon farmer and professional NASCAR driver Ross Chastain, the busiest driver in NASCAR, uses much of his time in the spotlight to educate the public about the important role of agriculture today. Nicknamed the “Melon Man,” he’s known for smashing a watermelon to the ground in the Victory Lane when he celebrates race wins. Chastain drives for Kaulig Racing in the No. 10 Nutrien Ag Solutions Chevrolet Camaro in the Xfinity Series. He’s featured in the Nutrien Ag Solutions – and NASCAR-produced docuseries Two-Track Mind, which follows Chastain as he races around the country and visits farms along the way, educating a broader audience about modern production agriculture.
Dr. Nadia Shakoor
Dr. Nadia Shakoor is a senior research scientist at The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis and recently received a grant from The National Institute for Food and Agriculture and the National Science Foundation to develop FieldDock, an integrated smart farm system. The technology Shakoor and her collaborators are developing will collect and analyze real time data from fields, allowing for effective tracking of crop performance.
Daniel Masaba from Uganda started a poultry farm with no experience, very limited resources and no prior education on farming. On his YouTube channel, he offers free information about poultry farming “to inspire more young people to step out and start.”
He’s just one of the many farmers using social media to inform and educate the public about agriculture today.
Alexander Olesen and Graham Smith
Babylon Micro-Farms invented a vertical farming platform that uses AI, machine learning and camera vision, enabling anyone to grow fresh, nutritious produce on-site using patented technology combined with a mobile app that controls the operation of the farms. The company was co-founded in 2017 by University of Virginia students Alexander Olesen and Graham Smith after an undergraduate student project to develop low-cost micro-farms for refugee communities. Babylon is now installing vertical farms at schools, senior living communities, hotels and resorts.
Derek and Micayla Giffin
The Giffins grow row crops on the same fields that Derek’s family has farmed for more than 100 years. The couple created a more sustainable operation by adding cattle to Giffin Farms. While the Giffins’ cattle graze on grass, they are finished with grain and ready to be harvested an average of 14 months sooner than cattle fed only on grass. This reduces the land, water and energy required to produce a pound of healthy protein by 50%.
Stephen Penick is an occupational therapist, beekeeper and owner of Star Pastures Apiary, a farm that specializes in raising and selling honeybees and harvesting their honey, in Martin, Tennessee. The farm currently has 80 bee hives located around northwest Tennessee. They are used for pollination, honey production, and even research for the study of pollen collection from various plant varieties at Bethel University.
With nearly 400 full-time employees, Tosh Farms in Henry, Tennessee, is the state’s largest pork producer and the nation’s 28th largest pork producer. The family-owned business cares for 37,000 sows at 11 sites and produces 850,000 hogs annually. Innovation at Tosh Farms includes a state-of-the-art research barn testing new diets and animal health technology for their pigs. To make their operation sustainable, the company uses row crops grown on the farm’s 12,000 acres to produce pelleted feed rations for their pigs—5,500 tons of feed weekly.
Sarah Bellos is the CEO and founder of Stony Creek Colors. After she discovered that a large-scale source for natural dyes for clothing didn’t exist, Bellos knew she had to find a solution. She worked with farmers, chemists, mills and brands to create a new and profitable way to manufacture bio-based dyes. Today, Stony Creek Colors supplies natural indigo dye for denim clothing for Wrangler, Patagonia, Lucky Brands, J. Crew and others.
New organizations working with our team on this exhibit include Agrela Ecosystems, Babylon Micro-Farms, Bayer Fund, Blue Steel Tool, Inc., Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, EarthSense, GroGuru, SwineTech, Syngenta, Tennessee Pork Producers, Tennessee Valley Authority and the USDA Rural Development U.S. Department of Agriculture.
For current list of partners, contributors, friends and Champions of Agriculture, click here.
Explore this computerized rendering of the look and feel of this exciting new exhibit and get a taste of what Discovery Park’s guests will experience as they explore innovation in agriculture. Watch the walkthrough.