Fresno Chaffee Zoo opens Valley Farm exhibit

September 27, 2013 3:10:27 PM PDT
Friday the Fresno Chaffee Zoo opened its newest exhibit called Valley Farm to visitors. The Valley Farm exhibit at the zoo allows visitors an up-close look at agricultural life.

"We're not going to let you go in and pet a tiger, but you can come in and pet sheep and goats and this wonderful dairy cow we have named buttercup and you can see the chickens and often see eggs laid," Fresno Chaffee Zoo Director Scott Barton said.

The attraction came together from a partnership of the zoo, Fresno County Farm Bureau and Fresno State. Fresno State Students even applied their textbook knowledge to the exhibit.

"They're involved in the irrigation scheduling. They're involved in the planting, what crops should follow what crops, rotations," Fresno State Professor Dr. Bruce Roberts.

The attraction features what life is like on a farm and helps showcase the rich and diverse agricultural community we live in. From corn to eggs to sunflowers, everything grown in the exhibit will be used at the zoo, either to feed animals or for educational purposes. Since the San Joaquin Valley produces much of the food for the country and world officials say it is great way to show visitors what goes into growing food on a farm.

"This is that opportunity. Over 600,000 people come here on an annual basis, it's a natural built in facility for them to come here and learn and explore about agriculture," CEO of Fresno County Farm Ryan Jacobsen.

The zoo hopes the new exhibit will leave visitors with a greater understanding of the Ag community. The new exhibit was funded by the Gar and Esther Tootelian Charitable Foundation. Zoo admission grants entrance into the new area

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