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Commodity Carnival comes to Kane Fair

ST. CHARLES – A three-part activity that teaches children about bringing animals to market will be available all week at the Kane County Fair.

The Commodity Carnival guides participants through the process of producing and selling livestock, specifically how to grow livestock, sell livestock and win a ribbon.

The activity, which was launched in 2013, will be available for the first time at the Kane County Fair. A Commodity Carnival display will be set up at the Kane County Young Farmers Farm Zoo directly north of the Midway for most of the hours that the Midway is open during the fair.

The carnival is a result of a partnership between the CME Group and the National 4-H Council. The group wanted to the public to have a better understanding of agriculture commodities and the role futures play in the market, according to a news release.

“[The Carnival] really gives them a sense of the real-world atmosphere into what goes into raising the animals,” said Buddy Haas, an Elburn resident and intern at the University of Illinois State Extension Office involved this week with hosting the game at the fair.

Participants start off with a plastic egg that represents a wean calf. Then they open the egg and fill it with a combination of kernels for feed and different color marbles that represent health and nutrition, transportation and energy costs and facility costs. The participants will have one of three scenarios – lose money, make money or break even, Haas said.

The target age group for the game is ages 7 to 14, but older teens get a kick out of the paper steer hats that participants receive, Haas said.

For those who can’t make it to the fair, there is a free “Risk Ranch” game app available for the iPhone and Android phones on CME’s website that recreates the live-action activity.

If you go

What: The Commodity Carnival

When: 3 to 7 p.m. today and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m to 1 p.m. Sunday

Where: Kane County Young Farmers Farm Zoo (north of the Midway) at the Kane County Fairgrounds, Randall Road between Route 38 and Route 64 in St. Charles

Cost: Free (admission required to enter Kane County Fairgrounds)

Information: Visit The free “Risk Ranch” game app (Android or iPhone) is also available for download at the site.

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