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Commodity Carnival Teaches Youth The Costs, Risks Of Farming

Commodity Carnival Teaches Youth The Costs, Risks Of Farming

(NAPS)-"This little pig went to market" isn't just a familiar nursery rhyme. It's now a hands-on attraction at state and county fairs that teaches youth about agricultural commodities and the economics of raising and selling livestock.
Through the Commodity Carnival games-created by Ohio State University professors Paul Kuber and Bob Horton-local 4-H members educate fairgoers about the risks that farmers confront daily in order to bring food to market. The games are sponsored jointly by 4-H, the nation's largest youth development organization, and CME Group, which helps farmers and other businesses manage risk around the world.
"The agriculture market is so critical to the economy that educating youth about commodities' role is vital," explains Donald T. Floyd, Jr., president and CEO of National 4-H Council.
"Together with the 4-H, we're growing agricultural literacy and educating visitors about risk in a fun, interactive way," adds Anita Liskey, a CME Group managing director.
Commodity Carnival participants load their "pig," actually a plastic egg, with inputs they can customize-from hog food in the form of corn kernels and soybeans to paper pieces representing investments in caring for and transporting the animal.
When ready for market, the "pig" is weighed to determine the cost per 100 pounds to raise it. At the adjoining Pig-Linko board, participants send their pigs down the peg board while trying to navigate risk factors such as weather or regulations that can impact the animal's sale price. If the participant earns a profit, he or she wins a silver rosette ribbon for bringing home the bacon.
To view a video about the program and see a list of fairs hosting the Commodity Carnival, visit

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