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Purdue Extension State Fair exhibits to showcase mental health awareness, veterinary care and becoming a Master Gardener

When the Indiana State Fair kicks off Friday (July 28), attendees can experience what Purdue Extension offers Indiana residents all year-round.

“Purdue Extension is proud to showcase our 4-H programs and youth accomplishments every year at the Indiana State Fair and to introduce fairgoers to the outreach we do throughout Indiana in the areas of agriculture and natural resources and health and well-being. This year marks our first in our new home in the former Indiana Farm Bureau Building. We look forward to welcoming you to see rotating exhibits throughout the week,” said Angie Abbott, interim director of Purdue Extension and associate dean in the College of Agriculture. 

The Purdue Extension Building will feature engaging interactive activities for all ages. 

  • Learn about block and text coding with BOLT, Sphero's most advanced coding robot to date. The programmable robots are a powerful learning tool, allowing youth to learn the basics of computer programming applying mathematics, music and even gain an understanding of the Internet of Things.
  • Children, ages 8 months to 8 years, and their parents are invited to interact and engage in block play, a research-based program that helps children develop a variety of school-readiness skills through play.
  • Test your knowledge about what can be found growing in your yard and learn how to manage it with Purdue Extension Master Gardener volunteers.
  • Engage with Purdue Extension specialists and departments in their specific areas of expertise, including the Purdue Extension Farm Stress Team, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles specialists, Department of Food Science researchers and more.


State Fair Purdue Pete A group takes a quick break at the base of the Purdue Pete statue. (Purdue Agricultural Communications photo/Tom Campbell)

Other Purdue Extension events during the fair include:

Take a break on Mental Health Matters Day

On Aug. 4, Indiana Mental Health Roundtable is presenting Mental Health Matters Day. Purdue will host a booth, located between the Administration Building and Main Street, highlighting the Purdue Extension services and resources offered to residents across the state. From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., fairgoers can stop by to learn about ways they can become more involved with mental health efforts in their own communities and see what resources are available to them. 

Sewing Fashion Revue and Consumer Clothing Fashion Revue to take center stage

Indiana 4-H projects will be on public display Aug. 2-20 in the 4-H Exhibit Hall and Centennial Hall. Located in the Purdue Extension , the annual Sewing Fashion Revue will take place at 10 a.m. Aug. 11. New to the fair this year will be the Consumer Clothing Fashion Revue, taking place at 10 a.m. Aug. 10, in which 4-H champions will model their paired and purchased outfits before a panel of judges. The public is invited to watch. 4-H'ers also will exhibit their animal projects throughout the fair. The full animal exhibition schedule can be found here

Live Demonstrations with Purdue Vet Med

At the Purdue Veterinary Medicine Exhibit, located behind the FFA Building, canine surgery demonstrations will take place at noon and 3 p.m. July 28 through Aug. 19. In addition to being able to see live surgeries, other presentations offered during the fair include sessions on canine physical therapy at noon and 3 p.m. on Aug. 4, farm animal veterinary medicine demonstrations, and canine dentistry demonstrations. The area also houses the Indiana State Fair Vet Camp. On site for the State Fair’s entire three-week run, veterinary students under the advisement of Purdue faculty will offer services to exhibitors and animals in need. 

You can also visit the Purdue Animal Sciences Livestock Displays, hosted daily from noon to 8 p.m. in the Indiana Farm Bureau Fall Creek Pavilion.

Experience life in the 1800s

Step back in time through the Pioneer Village, sponsored by the Purdue Ag Alumni Association. Nestled between the Machinery Field and the MHS Family Fun Park, the village transports fairgoers back to the 1800s. Guests will have the opportunity to see antique tractors, the farm toy show and a fiddler’s contest.

The Indiana State Fairgrounds is located at 1202 E. 38th St., Indianapolis. The fair is open Wednesday through Sunday beginning Friday (July 28) through Aug. 20. Purdue Extension exhibits are located in the Purdue Extension Building, located on the north side of the fairgrounds. A nursing station for mothers will be available for use throughout fair hours in the Purdue Extension Building. 

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