Did you know the Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair is not part of the City, County, or State? We do not receive any financial support from those branches of government. However, we continue to offer our community the opportunity to experience agriculture up close by presenting the Jacksonville Fair each year. This is our 63rd year of teaching our community about agriculture. We begin our agricultural education with the children. The FREE Ag Venture Tours and Barn Tours programs offer students the opportunity to learn about farm animals, agriculture, and the importance of agriculture for everyone.
Both Barn Tours and Ag Venture Tours are educational, agricultural programs for students from public schools, private schools, charter schools, and home schools. Both take place when the carnival part of the Jacksonville Fair is not open. Both tours are FREE of charge. Both are limited due to the number of students and chaperones we can accommodate, and both are age specific.
Barn Tours: These are educational tours for Pre-K and Kindergarten students; they are not petting zoos. The tours take approximately 45 minutes and introduce children to their first up close glimpse of farm animals (cattle, goats, sheep, chickens, rabbits, horses, and pigs) and a little about the history of agriculture.
How can I book a Barn Tour? At 9:00 a.m. on Monday, October 1st, you may call our business office (353-0535) to book a class tour. Tours are scheduled every 20 minutes beginning at 9:20 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on designated days of the fair. Unfortunately, we can only book 40-45 students in each time period. Please, do not try to exceed that number.
Have the following information available when you call:
- School's name and full mailing address
- Teachers' names and a contact phone number
- Number of students attending-classes may be combined as long as the number does not exceed 40-45
- Email address of teacher(s)
Once booked, a confirmation letter with specific instructions will be sent to the class teacher(s) at the school.
Ag Venture Tours: These are designed for third grade students who have studied or will study animal classifications, plants, and the investigation of the natural world. The Ag Venture Tour begins at 9:30 a.m. and lasts through lunch until about 1:00 p.m. on four designated days. A highly engaging demonstration about the history of agriculture is presented and then students move through stations to learn about topics such as: cattle, bees and honey, horticulture, chickens, and agricultural literature. A brief visit to Old Mac Donald's Farm will allow them to observe the hatching of chicks.Lunch is provided free of charge. Schools must provide the transportation to and from the fairgrounds.
How can I book an Ag Venture Tour? Tour time and space is limited and booked through application only. Public schools, charter schools, private schools, and home schools may contact Mrs. Beverly Hurst at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 353-0535 to request an application for Ag Venture Tours after September 10, 2018. When applications are completed and returned, you will receive a letter of confirmation or a letter of regret. A confirmation letter will contain specific instructions for your students' tour. Only a limited number of students and tours can be accommodated.