The Fair Oaks exit off of Interstate 65 in northern Indiana just continues getting more interesting for passing motorists. First it was the dairy, and then the Pig Adventure was added last year. Now ground has broken for the Pork Education Center and in under a month a new restaurant opens. Fair Oaks Farms CEO Gary Corbett says the 18 thousand square foot facility opens to the public July 1st.
“One of the uniqenesses we feel is that on the plate we hope 60 to 60 percent of the food served will either be produced or manufactured on the farm,” he told HAT. “So in this day of buying local we want to take it to an extreme and be really local.”
The South Shore Air Show this year moves to Fair Oaks Farms July 11-13. Corbett is excited about the potential exposure to agriculture that will bring to air show fans.
“We’re excited about the air show because we think it’s great family entertainment, but additionally we believe we’ll get over a hundred thousand people over that three days. It’s a hundred thousand contacts with agriculture is the way we look at it. It’s an opportunity, maybe they don’t take the tour that day, but they see it, they see what’s out here and that it can probably be a lot of fun and they’ll come back in three weeks or something. So we can keep reaching all these consumers out there that really don’t have access to 21st century agriculture anymore.”
Everything at Fair Oaks, including the new Pork Education Center, is designed for visitors from 2 years to 82 years, as Corbett explains.
“And that was initially one of our challenges, but it’s a good challenge to have, so we have to develop messages that resonate with a 60 year old that still keeps the attention of a 5 year old. We call it edu-tainment and to have a message that meets all their needs but still is fun.
The Pork Education Center will have many kid friendly exhibits, adventures including a rope course. It is expected to open to the public in the spring of 2015.