Farming for Life Experience

Did you want to learn more about Farming?  

The Farming for Life Experience will redefine farming in the 21st century, showcasing the rich history of farming in this region, focusing on the innovations in farming practices, including research, planting, growing, harvesting and distribution of food, enriched by the intergenerational stories of people who make farming their life.


The new Farm Pavilion will house a 4,500 sq. ft. exhibition space, with additional changing exhibit and program space and a Food Lab outfitted with a commercial kitchen for programs focused on food and nutrition for the whole community.


This area introduces visitors to The Farming for Life Experience. From the lobby, visitors can purchase tickets at the reception desk, access the orientation theater or go straight into the exhibits. A donor panel recognition panel prominently displays the people and organizations who made this project possible.


This immersive space, built from reclaimed wood from a historic dairy barn in Lynden, offers a special place to gather and experience through film the beauty of the region, the valuable enterprise of agriculture and how it connects to a thriving community. From the rich natural resources that bless this area, the ingenuity and dedication of farmers, to the innovations and technology that advance agriculture into the 21st century, farming continues to play a vital role in our lives.   


The distant and varied history of farming in the region is a story of hard work and persistence. The 20 ft. long, full height case, will display artifacts from individual farming families and local organizations to showcase how farming has advanced over the last century and more.  Each object tells a story that connects the visitor to the past evoking curiosity and wonder at the many items that explore the history of farming.


This fun-filled interactive gallery takes you through the process of bringing food from farms to tables.¬†¬†Comprised of 6 stations, the exhibits start with the essentials of food propagation, growing and harvesting and continue through different modes of packaging and transportation, wholesale and retail distribution, all the way to the end of the journey‚ÄĒfood preparation. Each station offers a unique hands-on interactive experience, illustrating the principles behind getting food to our table.¬†¬†


When you total the cost of food, you need to consider not only what it takes the farmer go grow it and harvest it, but the costs for packaging, transporting food,  branding, advertising and marketing, the cost of supporting a supermarket and a percentage of wastage. Lift panels reveal surprising  facts about the costs associated with food and an interactive measuring station give a better understanding of all the ways food is sold and bought and the value of this life-giving resource. The end of the journey of food is the shopping, preparation, cooking and eating of food.  When the food finally arrives at your house or restaurant, the different ingredients may have traveled from nearby farms or states or thousands of miles from other countries.  


Three large stacks of crates in the packing area become open books to explore the wonders and science of the raspberries, blueberries and strawberries.¬† An overhead frieze captures the landscape ripe with fruit and the process of the berry harvests.¬†¬†Beneath the gravity conveyor crates contain fun facts about the three berries. The center 65‚ÄĚ screen showcases a selection of videos about the berry farms in the region and a walk-in simulated berry harvester allows visitors to feel the vibration that is used to harvest raspberries and blueberries from the plants.¬†¬†


With a re-creation of a barn facade, a central icon for this section of exhibits, this step-in environment explores the many facets of dairy farming.  Overhead, a frieze pays tribute to the dairy farmers of the region. Inside the barn, explore Cow Wow facts of dairy and learn about the complex digestive system of a cow. An enveloping video projected onto the back wall allows visitors to watch the process of feeding, milking, grazing, birthing and raising calves, even the process of making cheese and other dairy products. Outside the barn, in the windows on either side, explore the rotating displays about new technologies in dairy ranging from robotic milking, dietary innovations and waste management.


Stacks of¬†crates with a conveyor¬†between the¬†columns¬†double as discovery drawers where visitors¬†learn about the seed potato plant‚ÄĒhow it reproduces and grows.¬†¬†A large wall-mounted memory game links important facts about¬†seed potatoes: varieties, greenhouse propagation, yields per acre and nutritional value.¬†¬†Inside the step-in alcove¬†Infinity Mini-Theater you can select a topic to explore: starters in the greenhouse, planting, growing, irrigation, harvesting, quality control, sorting and packaging and transporting to potato growers around the country and the world.¬†


Careers in Agriculture- Spin the Career Wheel to land on one of 60 jobs and find on the career chart what your skill requirements are, your salary will be, hours you will work and the challenges of your job.  


Farmers of Northwest Washington offers a multifaceted view of agriculture. On the faceted wall, a changing display of the Farmers of Northwest Washington will highlight the stories of the men and women who have made farming their life. This will become a kind of ‚Äúwall of fame‚ÄĚ of Northwest Washington farmers.


This dynamic video presentation where a dimensional table with place settings serves as the projection surface invites visitors to sit down and hear the stories of farmers, wholesalers, food experts, researchers, innovators and chefs Рall linked to the enterprise of food and farming.  The stories will be accompanied by lively animations projected onto the tabletop linking the food on your plate to the intensive efforts of the real farmers who grow the food. Fresh vegetables, meats and milk from Skagit and Whatcom Counties come are brought to life on the table.  Visitors are served a virtual meal with the conversation of people who made it possible. Then the table is magically cleaned for the next intimate audience of hungry eyes.

Located in the new Farm Pavilion on the fairgrounds in Lynden, Washington, 

For more information on Lyden, check out our Local Guide, and be sure to enjoy your day before you head back to your cozy getaway at the Oostema Farmstead.  We will keep the lights on for you.

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