The Michigan State Fair begins today and runs through the weekend. If you’re there, you might want to check out the Commodity Carnival. It started as a partnership between the CME Group and 4-H. It’s in its seventh consecutive year.
Deb Morgan, MSU Extension 4-H program coordinator, said the ag literacy program is designed to educate fairgoers about the risks involved in livestock production.
“It’s an interactive game that we have teens or 4-H youth facilitate at fairs and expo for the public,” Morgan said. “The game itself teaches the 4-H youth and brings an awareness to the public the risk farmers take to bring animals to market.”
Commodity Carnival is an interactive activity, and this year, they’re showing the process of growing a steer and selling it at market.
“The actual game itself, [you get a plastic Easter egg], and you get these little beads [that represent] transportation, facilities, healthcare of the animal, corn,” said Morgan. “Kids have to fill the egg with those things they think a farmer has as expenses.”
At the end of the game, the player has to determine weather they lost money or turned a profit. And this game is not just for kids either.
“Adults who come up to it think it’s amazing,” said Morgan. “We train the things to talk about how farmers have these expenses and every year the market’s not the same, and we don’t know if a farmer is going to make money.”
If you aren’t able to make it to the Michigan State Fair this weekend, you can download the mobile app Risk Ranch.