Q & A with Jennifer Wildes about AgriCulture: Innovating for Our Survival

If you are a follower of Discovery Park of America on any social media, or if you are subscribed to our newsletter, you may have seen an increase of posts and articles on the new agriculture exhibition, “AgriCulture: Innovating for Our Survival.” This exciting new exhibit is scheduled to open Dec. 5, 2020.

It takes a lot of hard work, research, time and organization to build an exhibit. Jennifer Wildes, who is the park’s exhibits and collections director, is the liaison between the partners, exhibit designers and internal staff to make sure this exhibit is exactly up to Discovery Park standards and that the facts are shared. We asked her how organizations and individuals who are passionate about agriculture can get involved.

What is “AgriCulture: Innovating for Our Survival?

“Agriculture: Innovating for Our Survival” is a new, permanent exhibit that will open in the Simmons Bank Ag Center in December of this year. It will focus on telling the story of innovation in agriculture and explain why innovating was and is so vital to the agriculture world — especially as today’s farmers are navigating the challenge to provide more food, fuel and fiber to a growing population while using less of our shared resources. We have a robust section on our website dedicated to the exhibit, and if anyone is interested in finding out more about it, they can visit www.discoveryparkofamerica.com/agriculture.

How can organizations and individuals participate in this new exhibit?

We are still raising funds through our development department and are happy to meet with interested people one-on-one to discuss a gift to the new exhibit. We still need around $90,000 to be able to complete the exhibit in its entirety and would be grateful for support of any amount. An option for individuals rather than organizations would be to become a Champion of Agriculture.

If someone chooses to become a Champion of Agriculture, what do they need to do to become involved?

A Champion of Agriculture refers to an individual or family that wishes to make a contribution of any amount towards the exhibit. Those greatly appreciated donations can be easily made by clicking the Champion of Agriculture link available on the exhibit’s section of our website or by visiting discoveryparkofamerica.com/agchampion.

Will there be any sort of recognition if someone chooses to become a Champion of Agriculture?

Absolutely. As soon as visitors walk through the doors into the new exhibit, they will be greeted with a visual display of givers from all levels, including Champions of Agriculture. In fact, when making a Champion of Agriculture contribution on our website, there is a section where donors can tell us exactly how they would like their recognition to be worded for that display.

What are you looking forward to the most about this exciting new exhibit on agriculture?

Honestly, it is so hard to choose. Overall, I think I am most excited to see our visitor’s response. It is a path that I traveled myself during the development of the exhibit. I do not come from an agriculture background, so I was ignorant on a lot of topics that we present within the exhibit. Agriculture’s diversity — in the way of workers, jobs, ideas, and practices — is much more than I ever imagined. I have been able to learn so much and developed a great appreciation for those who work in the agriculture field, and I can’t wait for our visitors to experience the same.