Glass Barn delivers a clear win for ISA during 2022 Indiana State Fair
The 2022 Indiana State Fair was a fantastic success and, as has been the case for nearly a decade, the Indiana Soybean Alliance was tops among the highlights for visitors with the Glass Barn. Last year, ISA installed a life-sized combine simulator in the facility, which was an instant hit for the visitors. For an encore, the organization upgraded multiple exhibits this year, and the improvements were noticed and lauded.
One of the upgraded exhibits was a retro-refresh of the popular “Soy You Think You Can Farm” video game. Visitors were able to virtually plant soybeans, use drone technology to identify and protect the crops from weeds and pests, then harvest the soybeans to determine how many families may have been fed through their efforts. The renovation was complete with a high-score screen and a QR code for a mobile version so that guests could play on their phones for free.
The Bean Market area was revamped this year as well and received numerous kudos from those who played the new “Soy Market Spree” interactive grocery game. The game gives visitors a randomized shopping list for places where they might find soy-based products.
Then, the individuals would have to pore through a large rotating bin of items to find the right products to scan and fill their list within the 60-second time limit. For example, a visitor may have to find all the items that would be used at a birthday party. They would have to then quickly find items in the rotating bin like soy candles, cake mix, ice cream, crayons, whipped cream or vegetable oil to fill the shopping list in time.
Another enhanced area of the Glass Barn for 2022 was the WeGrow Theater. Since its inception, the WeGrow Theater has been a place where farmers invite Glass Barn visitors in for a virtual visit of their operations. However, the content and technology had become a bit dated, and it was in need of new life.
With a new 4K video wall, custom-built benches, SynLawn soy-based flooring and a beautiful new podium, visitors were able to see expanded content and speak live with farmers, ag engineers, researchers and biologists, learning how soybeans are part of their everyday lives. They were also exposed to the myriad of career paths in agriculture that go beyond the farm – something that is often overlooked when speaking to young people about ag.
Though there were many improvements to the Glass Barn this year, one traditional mainstay was the highlight for many fairgoers – playing BeanGo to win the famed Glass Barn Hat. This year 14,640 visitors played to win a hat, and they all learned about the history of farming, new uses of soybeans, modern ag technology, biodiesel, and more.
Next year will mark the 10th anniversary of the Glass Barn at the Indiana State Fair and there are more improvements in store. Until then, here’s a final look back at ISA’s consumer outreach during 2022 fair by the numbers.
- 96,893 visitors learned about soybeans and modern ag at The Glass Barn
- 14,640 visitors played BeanGo to win a hat
- 129 farmers attended the Farmer Appreciation Event
- 111 volunteers helped to staff the Glass Barn during the 18-day fair
- 54 live chats featuring nine ag professionals took place covering biodiesel, soybean oil, new uses, ag tech and livestock
- 10 rides on the Midway carried signage about the rides being powered with biodiesel
- 9 of the FFA Pavilion putt-putt holes were covered in SynLawn turf and included information about soybeans on the flag stands
- 8 tractor shuttles running on biodiesel carried ISA and Glass Barn signage each day
- 7 food stands used High Oleic Soybean Oil
- 3 state fairs sent representatives to learn more about our Glass Barn in hopes to create something similar at their home fairs
- 1 State Fair Lifetime Pass was presented to United Soybean Board and ISA Director Kevin Wilson who was instrumental in the development of the Glass Barn