ISU students active at State Fair

Connie Pettinger

Nathan Marting learned first hand this summer how to lead students to success at the Iowa State Fair. Marting, senior in agriculture education, supervised North Polk Future Farmers of America students at the Avenue of Breeds exhibit. The students fed and watered livestock, cleaned stalls and answered visitors’ questions. “There are a lot of summer ag activities,” he said, “and working with the FFA program this summer was kind of an added extension to the student teaching.” Marting said working toward the fair exhibit was a great learning experience for the students. “The kids spent all year writing letters and making phone calls to line up livestock for the event,” he said. “They really do it all.” Marting was not the only Iowa State student working at the fair. The opening day, which saw an increase of about 8,000 people over last year, was sponsored by Iowa State. The sponsorship was a kick-off for the university’s theme, “Strengthening Families to Become the Best,” which highlights the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “We would like to think we had something to do with the increased attendance,” said Paula Gmelch, family and consumer sciences coordinator for Iowa State’s Strengthening Families Celebration. Michael Huston, freshman in agricultural education, also participated in FFA events at the fair. Huston began preparing for the fair the Sunday before opening day. He set up and worked at the FFA displays in the Agriculture Building and worked at FFA Headquarters. “My parents used to open show when I was a little kid,” Huston said. “I kind of grew up in a tac room.”