Home Nation/World Profit Center

Farm festival, activities educate public about ag

The owner of a corn maze in Meridian, Idaho, that attracts national attention said getting noticed by national media is fun but he cares more about educating residents of Idaho’s fastest-growing city about agriculture.
Sean Ellis

Capital Press

Published on November 7, 2017 8:57AM

Last changed on November 7, 2017 11:08AM

An aerial view of the Farmstead Corn Maze & Pumpkin Festival’s 2017 Pac-Man corn maze design. The annual festival in Meridian, Idaho, regularly draws national media attention, but owner Jim Lowe said he’s more concerned about helping educate people about the sources of their food.

Farmstead Corn Maze & Pumpkin Festival

An aerial view of the Farmstead Corn Maze & Pumpkin Festival’s 2017 Pac-Man corn maze design. The annual festival in Meridian, Idaho, regularly draws national media attention, but owner Jim Lowe said he’s more concerned about helping educate people about the sources of their food.

Children get ready to go down the Bee Line, a zip line that is one of the many attractions at the Farmstead Corn Maze & Pumpkin Festival in Meridian, Idaho. The annual festival regularly draws national media attention but owner Jim Lowe said he’s more concerned about helping educate people about farming.

Sean Ellis/Capital Press

Children get ready to go down the Bee Line, a zip line that is one of the many attractions at the Farmstead Corn Maze & Pumpkin Festival in Meridian, Idaho. The annual festival regularly draws national media attention but owner Jim Lowe said he’s more concerned about helping educate people about farming.

Buy this photo
Farmstead Corn Maze & Pumpkin Festival owner Jim Lowe stands next to the Condiment Cow, one of the many attractions he uses to teach people about agriculture.

Sean Ellis/Capital Press

Farmstead Corn Maze & Pumpkin Festival owner Jim Lowe stands next to the Condiment Cow, one of the many attractions he uses to teach people about agriculture.

Buy this photo

MERIDIAN, Idaho — A corn maze and farm festival in southwestern Idaho that attracts major media attention is in the national news again.

A recent CNN article about the The Farmstead Corn Maze & Pumpkin Festival focused on the maze’s Pac-Man design.

Farmstead maze designs that have attracted national media attention in past years include the likenesses of Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama during election year, Abraham Lincoln, the Statue of Liberty and comedian Jimmy Fallon.

But as nice as it is to be picked up by major media outlets such as USA Today, Time magazine, the “Today Show” and “Good Morning America,” Farmstead owner Jim Lowe said he actually cares more about teaching urban people a little bit about agriculture.

“In our attractions, we try to integrate a farm theme or some education about agriculture,” Lowe said. “One of the things that is important to us is to be true to who we are, which is a farm.”

Meridian is Idaho’s fastest-growing city. Its population has grown from 35,000 in 2000 to 75,000 in 2010 and an estimated 96,000 today. It borders Boise, Idaho’s largest city, and Nampa, the state’s third-largest city.

Lowe said it’s important to teach urban folks about agriculture and the important role it plays in the state’s economy.

“People are pretty receptive to that when it’s worked right into a fun environment like it is here,” he said.

The Farmstead, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors, is also making efforts to teach people a little about Idaho agriculture. Several attractions tie in with major Idaho farm commodities.

That includes a bee-themed zip line called the Bee Line, which includes trivia facts about bees and honey, a Famous Idaho Potato sack slide and an apple blaster that lets people shoot apples at a target.

Those attractions are sponsored by the commodities’ respective commissions.

There is also a trout fishing pond, which is a nod to the fact Idaho is the nation’s top trout-producing state.

Idaho Potato Commission President and CEO Frank Muir said his group was happy to fund the creation of the potato sack slide.

“I love the fact that Idaho corn is promoting Idaho potatoes,” he said, noting the two go well together in a meal. “To me, they are perfect.”

Muir said he also likes the fact that the Farmstead concentrates so heavily on educating people about agriculture.

“I think it’s great that they embrace that,” he said. “It helps young kids understand where their food comes from and connect to agriculture.”

Rick Waitley, executive director of the Idaho Honey Industry Association, told Capital Press in an email that his group “saw the Farmstead as an opportunity to tell the story of honey production and pollination to the general public.”





Marketplace

Share and Discuss

Guidelines

User Comments