The Georgia Grown Baby Barn, a live birthing center and nursery for farm animals, will open its doors for the first time at the upcoming 2018 Georgia National Fair in Perry Oct. 4-14. The Georgia Department of Agriculture – in collaboration with the Georgia National Fair Board, the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association and Georgia’s animal industry partners- are excited to introduce this one-of-a-kind agricultural education exhibit to promote familiarity with Georgia’s animal agriculture industry by showcasing live births of cattle.
“The Georgia National Fair has a rich tradition of serving as an educational cornerstone for Georgia’s agriculture industry,” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black said. “The Georgia Grown Baby Barn will further enhance that effort by offering a unique experience for all fair attendees. We want to help people make a connection with agriculture and have them leave the fair with a stronger appreciation for the work of Georgia’s farmers and farm families.”
The 10,800-square-foot facility was built as an annex to the existing Georgia Grown Building at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter. After visiting similar attractions at other state fairgrounds and experiencing the overwhelming positive reactions, the fair board voted to bring a similar attraction to Perry.
“The people in Minnesota were enthralled,” said Jack Spruill, director of marketing for the Georgia Department of Agriculture. “There were families who stood attentively for up to four hours to see a cow have a calf.”
Spectators in the Baby Barn will have the opportunity to see 11 dairy calves born, one birth for each day of the fair. Newborn piglets will also be on display. Certified veterinarians will be available throughout the duration of the fair to provide care for the animals.
The dates of each birth have been estimated with a high degree of certainty thanks to fertility science, but since the exact timing cannot be guaranteed, fairgoers are encouraged to download the new Georgia National Fair app to receive notifications regarding upcoming births. The smartphone application will be used to alert fairgoers that the birth is imminent and encourage visitors to make their way to the Georgia Grown Building if they wish to be present at the time of birth and suggest names for the newborns. The Georgia National Fair app is available on the App Store and Google Play.