DATCP: Visit DATCP’s new farm & family building at the Wisconsin State Fair

Contact: Ashley Huibregtse, 608-224-5002, [email protected]

WEST ALLIS – Make your plans now to visit the new Farm & Family Building while attending the Wisconsin State Fair, running Aug. 4 – 14, in West Allis. Presented by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), the Farm & Family Building offers fun and educational activities for all ages.

“I encourage fairgoers to visit the new Farm & Family Building to learn more about our department’s consumer protection services and the agriculture industry,” said Secretary Ben Brancel. “Agriculture is a part of everyone’s life, and our interactive displays will allow you to learn more about how food goes from the farm fork to your dinner fork.”

The popular Veggie Car Races are returning to the Wisconsin State Fair with a new location in the Farm & Family Building. Children can plan to race a Veggie Car created by the Wisconsin FFA State Officer Team and learn more about their favorite vegetable, from cucumbers to sweet corn to carrots. Five races are held each hour. New this year, Monday, Aug. 8, is “Bring Your Own Veggie Car Day!” Visit datcp.wi.gov/Animals/Fairs_and_Shows/Veggie_500 to find instructions on how to make your own Veggie Car at home and bring it to the fair to race on this one special day.

The Farm & Family Building will offer many other new exhibits to the Wisconsin State Fair. The Bureau of Consumer Protection will promote its popular No Call List with a special State Fair registration challenge. The goal is to add 2011 residential landline and cell phone numbers to the No Call List during the 2011 State Fair. People can sign up online at the Consumer Protection booth – it’s free and only takes a minute. The No Call List reduces telemarketing phone calls.

People will also have the opportunity to spin the “Wheel of Consumer Protection” to learn more about timely consumer-related topics. Visitors can step on a commercial-grade scale to get a precise reading on their individual weight. State weights and measures inspectors use scales and testing devices each day to make sure consumers get what they pay for at the gas pump and checkout counter.

The 64th Alice in Dairyland, Katie Wirkus, will make appearances in the Farm & Family Building each day. Visitors can also see her Chevrolet Flex-Fuel Tahoe, which runs on E85, a renewable fuel.

Children will be able to learn more about where their food comes from while completing coloring sheets or making a button. Food Safety experts will use black lights and “magic powder” to show kids just how dirty their hands can get and help kids make finger puppets with germ characters. Grownups can pick up recipe-size cards that list just how long they can keep food in their freezers, refrigerators and cupboards.

If you have questions about the emerald ash borer, staff will be on hand to tell you more about this invasive pest and how you can help by not moving firewood. See a video on identification and learn about the purple survey traps. Children should visit to pick up a fun tattoo.

The Farm & Family Building is located in State Fair’s Ag Village, just west of the Badgerland Financial Discover Barnyard. For questions or more information, contact DATCP’s Ashley Huibregtse at 608-224-5002 or [email protected].