State fair's Miracle of Birth Center hosts farming conversations, cute animals

State fair's Miracle of Birth Center hosts farming conversations, cute animals Photo: KSTP/ Casey Ek

Updated: September 02, 2019 05:57 AM

Since 2001, the CHS Miracle of Birth Center has been exposing fairgoers of all ages to the birthing process of many animals. Visitors to the Minnesota State Fair over the years never seem to ignore the center, and its organizers believe that is a good sign for the farming industry.

For Mike Miron, an exhibit manager, the center serves as a bridge between farmers and people in the general public, many of whom are more eager than ever to learn about the origins of their food. And Miron says many people come to the center with lots of questions.

“Folks do want to know more about food and where it comes from, and I think that’s one of the reasons why this exhibit remains so popular year in and year out,” Miron said from within the center’s office. “The animals that are here come from farms, and they’re here because those farmers want us to help tell the story to the hundreds of thousands of guests that come through our doors each and every state fair.”

RELATED:INTERVIEW: What it's like working at the CHS Miracle of Birth Center

Miron, who grew up on a dairy farm and currently serves as a Future Farmers of America adviser in Forest Lake, added that with the number of farms in the country steadily decreasing, farmers treasure chances to speak about their work at places like the Minnesota State Fair. But amid the challenges that farmers face, there is something to be gained, according to Miron.

“The benefit despite there being those challenges out there is that there seems to be a renewed interest in the public to know where their food comes from and how it’s produced,” Miron said. “Generally there’s an open and receptive audience whether it’s here at the fair or out in the broader communities.”

In addition to facilitating live birth demonstrations, the volunteers at the center, many of whom are in high school, also actively engage in conversations with the public about agriculture in all of its forms. 

Aside from the live births, multiple educational events were held throughout the state fair on Christensen Farms Stage located outside the center. One such event, called “MythBusting,” attempted to tackle myths associated with food labels.

Each year, roughly 200 animals are born at the state fair thanks to the Miracle of Birth Center, and for many of the guests who pass through its doors, the center has remained popular for a simple reason.

“It’s the cuteness,” fairgoer Krissy Anderson said within the center. “I assume most people show up to see the little ones.”

“I’m old enough to know where my food comes from,” Shawn Leehane added. “[The Miracle of Birth Center] brings to mind industrialized farming, so that is a concern and definitely makes me think of more sustainable sources like free range animals.”

With a corps of volunteer veterinarians and aspiring veterinarians in training, the animals are under constant professional watch to ensure their health and safety.

Leehane added that he too visited the center to see cute animals.


Check out our photo gallery taken from within the CHS Miracle of Birth Center below.

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Casey Ek

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