National 4-H Council and CME Group have launched a new partnership that will connect the important work of the world's leading futures exchange company to the 4-H mission at the local level.
National 4-H Council and CME Group developed a Commodity Carnival together, aiming to increase the public's understanding of the important role agriculture commodities and hedging with futures play in successful farming.
Specifically, the interactive initiative will highlight what it takes to successfully manage the risks in bringing them to market - and build agriculture literacy across the nation.
In its first year, the new program will showcase a fun, interactive learning activity - at select county and state fairs across 11 states including Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.
In July the activities were featured at Farm Technology Days, Northern Wisconsin State Fair, Jefferson County Fair, Green County Fair, Kewaunee County Fair, Washington County Fair, and the Wisconsin Valley Fair.
In August it is appearing at the Clark County Fair, Pierce County Fair, Dodge County Fair, Shawano County Fair and Walworth County Fair as well as the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis.
In September the activities will be at the Richland County Fair.
4-H youth run The Commodity Carnival game booth, and actively engage fair goers about agricultural commodities and risk management in each participating state.
"A partnership with CME Group is a perfect fit with 4-H," said Donald T. Floyd, Jr., president and CEO, National 4-H Council.
He continued, "The agriculture market impacts people's lives each and every day. It's a vital part of our global economy. Therefore, educating youth and their families about the role of agricultural commodities is vital. This initiative delivers that important education in a fun, interactive way that everyone will enjoy."
"Agriculture has been a central part of our business for more than 160 years, and we're thrilled to partner with 4-H at county and state fairs. We're eager to provide an engaging way for fairgoers to gain a basic understanding of commodity trading and the vital role that managing risk plays in helping our nation's farmers thrive," said Anita Liskey, CME Group Managing Director, Corporate Marketing & Communications.
Developed by the Ohio State University Extension, The Commodity Carnival consists of two hands-on mini carnival games - Invest & Grow and Pig-Linko - to introduce the concepts of agriculture futures, options and commodity trading to families and youth ages 8-14.
Each activity will guide the participants through the process of producing a commodity (e.g., hogs) and selling it.
Throughout the experience, participants will learn to recognize what an agriculture commodity is and associate commodities with products used in their daily lives; learn what investments are required to raise a commodity; and discover how the risks of taking a commodity to market factor into its selling prices.
The volunteers working in this activity area in the Discovery Barn at the Wisconsin State Fair were very busy talking with participants throughout the fair.