Barnyard Adventure
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Barnyard Adventure

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WELCOME to Barnyard Adventure, the award-winning agriculture education experience, visited by nearly 132,000 guests attending the annual Walworth County Fair.

Join us August 28-September 2, 2024 as we celebrate the overall Walworth County Fair theme, "Stars, Stripes & Fair Delights."

The Barnyard Adventure team is looking forward to your visit, showcasing an area of the Fair where families and folks of all ages can make themselves at home; rest, regroup, relax, and enjoy the country hospitality offered throughout Barnyard Adventure's two acres of agricultural wonders.

The Barnyard Adventure area remains proud to emphasize the diversity of agriculture with numerous learning stations; including Crops, Gardening, Dairy, Beef, Swine, Sheep, Goats, Poultry, Bees, Butterflies and more!

Features in Barnyard Adventure include:
  • The Barnyard Adventure Barn has been honored to welcome Barnyard Barn hosts from the Walworth County Beekeepers Club and Michelle's Monarchs. Visit with incredibly knowledgeable beekeepers and butterfly experts, take part in free activities, and view their displays, including an enclosed working beehive and Monarch hatching presentation.
  • Flourishing gardens, featuring a bumper crop of vegetables, herbs, and flowers, including beautiful pollinators for our bees and butterflies. Displays included traditional and non-traditional gardening techniques. NEW in 2024 will highlight "Unity Gardens," featuring companion gardening, because vegetables need friends, too, the "Freshly Picked" vegetable of the day spotlight, "Kids Can Compost" garden, as well as the return of the sensory garden bench, the Wisconsin cranberry crop bed, grapes, the beautiful sunflowers and more!
  • The Barnyard Adventure garden is an official Monarch Way Station.
  • The Barnyard Adventure Barn is an observation building designed by local high school students.
  • Recognizing the threat placed on the Monarch Butterfly species, the Walworth County Fair is sensitive and respectful to butterfly care. An outdoor butterfly observation tent will return in 2024 in the Barnyard Adventure Garden and will feature the ever-popular daily butterfly release.
  • The Learning Coop will be hopping with interest and feature its diverse topics that cover agriculture and home-based interests; including cooking, beekeeping, horticulture, old-world crafts, and so much more! It was a do-not-miss opportunity for all Fair guests!
THANK YOU to our donors and supporters! The Barnyard Adventure Agriculture Education area is free with your paid general fair guest admission and operates through the generosity of donations, grants, volunteers, and year-round fundraisers.

The Walworth County Fair Barnyard Adventure Agriculture Education area has won numerous awards from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), the umbrella fair organization of all fairs around the globe, including the "Best Agricultural Event" and “Best of Division,” competing against fairs in the nation and worldwide.

The friendly team of volunteers in Barnyard Adventure are "ag-cited" to welcome you! Be sure to visit while enjoying the Great Walworth County Fair! See you soon!

LEARNING COOP TENT

This is a great educational tent for all ages, recognized as an award winner by the International Association of Fairs & Expositions. A wide variety of topics are led by the area's finest experts in agriculture, farm-to-table cooking, gardening, beekeeping, crafts and much more. All fair guests are welcome to participate and enjoy. Be sure to check out what classes are featured throughout each day of the six-day Walworth County Fair!

BARNYARD ADVENTURE BARN - A SALUTE TO POLLINATORS

The Barnyard Adventure Barn, formerly the Butterfly Barn, welcomes you to a fun educational environment, learning more about nature's star pollinators.

The Barn was designed by local high school students in 2010. Learn what's new in the barn in 2024 as the beekeepers return to provide their expert advice, along with other knowledgeable leaders in their field!

Just outside the Barnyard Adventure Barn is the rainwater recycling patio, made with permeable pavers. You will notice on the bricks surrounding the patio the names of the generous donors and supporters that helped bring this special patio dream a reality. The permeable paver bricks allow rainwater to run through them. Beneath the patio is a reservoir to collect rainwater from the ground and gutters of the barn. Reservoir water is pumped to the plants that support the butterflies and to a stream that flows through raised gardens. By keeping it moving, the water will remain fresh and aerated.

THE GARDENS

Glorious gardening! The bountiful Barnyard Adventure Garden is home to flourishing vegetables, herbs, crops, and flowers.

Observe the variety of garden displays, showcasing traditional and non-traditional gardening techniques. Be sure to check out which of these gardening features can easily be implemented at your home base.

Planting our agriculture future, one seed at a time!

EXPLORE & LEARN MORE about AGRICULTURE

FRESHLY PICKED VEGETABLE RECIPES

2023 WCF Barnyard Adventure Grants & Partnerships

  • The Elkhorn Fund Grant
  • Walworth County Beekeepers Association
  • Bob Williams Fair Ag Education Grant
  • Birds Eye Foods
  • We Energies Foundation
  • Casey's General Store
  • Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation - Agriculture in the Classroom Grant
  • Seeds of Hope
  • Alliant Energy
  • Wild West Soda
  • The DeLong Co., Inc.
  • Geneva Lake Women's Association
  • ALCIVIA
  • Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association
  • Frito Lay
  • Patti's Petals
  • UNCO Industries, Inc.
  • Wayne's Daughters Greenhouses
  • Kettle Moraine Insurance Group
    Cheyne Count & Aaron Reznichek
  • Kwik Trip
  • Stinebrink's Piggly Wiggly - Lake Geneva & Delavan

BYA Questions or Comments: Email eileen@walworthcountyfair.com

THE GRAIN BIN

Be sure to visit the Grain Bin ... see what's new to explore in 2024!

2024 BARNYARD ADVENTURE - KIDDIELAND STAGE

Fun for the whole family, the Barnyard Adventure - Kiddieland Stage features NICK'S KIDS SHOW, NICK'S BARNYARD ADVENTURE SHOW, MAGIC MIKE THE MAGICIAN, and CONTESTS galore! See the Official Fair Schedule for dates and times - t/b/a.

WCF Barnyard Adventure Awards & Recognition

We are tremendously proud and grateful for the contributions of time, financial support, labor, materials and positive efforts from ALL of our volunteers and donors. Because of YOU, the Walworth County Fair Barnyard Adventure Agriculture Education area has achieved:

2009:
International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE):

  • Overall ag program – “From Seed to Supper”
  • Specific ag educational exhibit – “Butterfly Exhibit”
  • Non-fair ag program – “Come Grow with Us”

2010:
International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE):

  • Green Program – Composting Display – 2nd Place
  • Non-Fair Ag Program – Biopots – 2nd Place
  • Fair & Fair Sponsor Joint Exhibit – Roly the Composting Pig, partnering with Compost Management, Delavan – 3rd Place
  • Photo Series – The Building of the Butterfly Barn – 1st Place

2011:

Wisconsin Association of Fairs:
  • VIP Award – Superintendent George Mroch
  • Janesville Gazette – People Who Matter – George Mroch
International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE):
  • Cream Puff Eating Contest – 2nd Place
  • Photo Series - Green Patio, Rainwater Recycling System Installation – 2nd Place
  • Barnyard Garden Improvements – 2nd Place
  • Green Patio/Rainwater Recycling Project – 1st Place
  • Fair & Fair Sponsor Joint Exhibit – Sorg’s with Sorgy and Wilson Farm Meats with Sir Oinks
  • A Lot Meat Cut Identification Displays – 3rd Place
  • Best Overall of Division 2 Silver Bowl Trophy

2012:
International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE):

  • Ag in the Classroom – with Walworth Co. Farm Bureau
  • Soybean Educational Program
  • From Seed to Supper Educational Signage
  • Combine Simulator/GPS Educational Trailer – with WI Corn Promotion Board
  • Scarecrow Building Contest

2013:
International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE):

  • Thank A Farmer Sign-In Boards Program – 2nd Place
  • “From Seed to Supper Tour” Educational Materials to Fair Guests –
  • Partnership with American Family Insurance – 3rd Place
  • Photo Sequence of Meat Identification Displays – 1st Place
  • Veggie Races – Create It on the Spot Contest – 1st Place

2014:
International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE):

  • Barnyard Adventure – Ag Education Program Workshop Presenter
  • Goat Educational Display – Partnership with Loudenbeck Farms Dairy Goats, LLC
  • Barnyard Bargain Bonanza Indoor Flea Market
  • Alternative Gardening Methods
  • Sweet Corn Eating Contest
  • Grade School Container Gardening Photo

2015:
International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE):

  • Hydroponics & Aeroponics Gardening
  • From Seed to Supper Tour Granary Learning Station – with WI Soybean Marketing Board
  • Kids Tractor Pulls
2016:
International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE):
  • Barnyard Adventure Garden / Open Class Horticulture Scarecrow
  • Milk Chugging Contest
2017
International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE):
  • Learning Coop Beekeeping Demonstration - 2nd Place
  • Learning Coop Paper Flowers - Laura Zaraza - Stampin' It Up - 3rd Place
  • Barnyard Adventure Stage - Bubblegum Blowing Contest - 2nd Place
  • Learning Coop - Increase Awareness of Competitive Exhibits - 1st Place

2018:
International Assocation of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE):

  • Learning Coop – Presentation Monitor – 3rd Place
  • Barnyard Garden Identification Signage – 3rd Place
  • Barnyard Garden – King Kong Sunflower Display – 1st Place
  • Barnyard Adventure Contest – Apple Pie Eating Contest – 3rd Place
  • Barnyard Adventure – Pesche’s Greenhouse Fairy Garden Display & Demonstration – 3rd Place

2019:
Wisconsin Association of Fairs:

  • VIP Award – Mrs. Peggy Fraser, Office Manager, Barnyard Adventure Team Volunteer
  • Outstanding Fair Person – Fair Board Director Eileen Walsh Grzenia, Barnyard Adventure Team Volunteer
International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE):
  • Grain Bin Learning Center - Newly established exhibit to promote agriculture to fair guests - 2nd Place
  • Growing to Learn Raised Grain Beds Exhibit - Exhibit designed to educate fair guests - 3rd Place
  • Diaper Derby and Toddler Trot - Participatory Contest - 3rd Place
  • All-Natural Infused Honey Contest - Special Contest - 2nd Place
  • Mrs. Loretta Meinel and Mrs. Eileen Walsh Grzenia - Graduates of the IAFE Institute of Fair Management.
2020:
International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE):
  • Virtual - Any Other Agriculture Program - Buzzing through Barnyard Virtually - 2nd Place
  • Certified Volunteer Fair Manager Designation - Fair Board Director Eileen Walsh Grzenia, Barnyard Adventure Team Volunteer
2021:
International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE):
  • Traditional Fair - Touch Free Barnyard Adventure Tour - 3rd Place
  • Traditional Fair - Protecting the Pollinators - Butterflies - 3rd Place
  • Traditional Fair - Walworth County Beekeepers Club - Pollinator Week Project - Pollinator Garden Beds - 3rd Place
  • Traditional Fair - Buttefly Feeders created by Open Class Exhibitors, on display during the Fair in the Barnyard Adventure Garden - 1st Place
  • Fair Board Director Loretta Meinel - IAFE Graduate Leadership Track Certification, Barnyard Adventure Team Volunteer
2022:
Wisconsin Association of Fairs:
  • Outstanding Fair Person – Fair Board Director/Board VP Loretta Meinel, Barnyard Adventure Team Volunteer
International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE):

AGRICULTURE AWARDS - Sponsored by Showorks by Ungerboeck

Category:

2. Technique/procedure/policy developed by Fair Management to correct an issue or challenge related to an agricultural area - Walworth County Fair Junior & Open Honey Show, located at Barnyard Adventure - 2nd Place

5. Unique exhibit/promotion/special event/community engagement/competition showcased during the year - Barnyard Adventure - Barnyard Adventure - Historic Garden Beds - 2nd Place

COMPETITIVE EXHIBITS AWARDS - Sponsored by North American Midway Entertainment

Category:

7.Competitive Exhibit Photo Series - Barnyard Adventure and Open Class Flowers - BYA Intern Madison/Sunflower - 1st Place***


*** Best of Division 2 - Silver Bowl Award

2023:
Wisconsin Association of Fairs:
  • Bob Williams Fair Ag Grant
  • WAF Hall of Fame Inductee - Eileen Walsh Grzenia, Director/Board Secretary & BYA Team Volunteer

International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE):

2nd Place - Creative Display - Photo Series – Michelle’s Monarch’s

1st Place - Any Other Competitive Exhibits – Open Class Horticulture and Barnyard Adventure - Table Top Scarecrow Contest

1st Place - Newly established or evolving program/exhibit at your Fair which promotes agriculture or a current agricultural issue to the Fairgoing public – Kids Can Compost Exhibit

2nd Place - Program/event/exhibit designed to educate consumers/fairgoing public on the Story of Food – Barnyard Adventure Global Gardens

2nd Place – Any Other Agriculture Program/Exhibit – Barnyard Brag Tags

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