by: Vicki Goshon, LDA Board of Directors
For the past three years Iowa State University has designed and hosted a family-friendly event called the “Bacon Expo”. The theme that was chosen this year was “Ba-con (noun) pure happiness”, which was modeled after a dictionary definition and compliments Bacon Expo’s goals to educate the public on swine production and Iowa’s Pork Industry.
The Bacon Expo’s Education Committee supports organizations whose philanthropic efforts reach many. This year the Learning Disabilities Association of America was chosen by the Iowa State University’s Bacon Expo as their charity of choice. A portion of the proceeds raised from the event will be donated to LDA to help them continue to provide resources and supports to people with learning disabilities, their parents, educators, and more.
The goal of ISU Bacon Expo’s education team is to educate event goers about where their bacon comes from. This team worked all year long to create interactive booths that were scattered around the event floor for bacon lovers to participate in. This year’s booths included:
- Gate to Plate – an interactive exhibit explaining modern day swine production.
- Meat in a Minute – a booth where event goers participated in a game while learning about different cuts of pork.
- Snout to Tail – a stop on the floor that allowed baconeers to learn about ALL of the things that we get from pigs.
- Piglet Pen – a fenced off area of Bacon Expo for the youngest attendees. This included coloring, balloon pig sorting, face painting and MUCH more.
- The Trough – Modern day pigs don’t eat slop and roll in the mud like many of us may think. At this booth students learned about what pigs eat to stay healthy and happy.
- Throwback – Swine production has changed A LOT over the years. Here students saw just how drastic and interesting the changes are.
Other attendees traveled the auditorium tasting traditional bacon strips and unique bacon items such as chocolate covered bacon, bacon cupcakes, jalapeno-wrapped bacon, BBQ bacon wrapped pork loin strips, bacon caramel apple mini pies, bacon ice cream and much more!
I had the privilege of representing the Learning Disabilities Association of America at the Expo. The day was filled with excitement and fun. You could feel the energy in the room as people were learning about Iowa’s Pork Industry and experiencing the aromas and tastes that came from it. I had a great time visiting with people as they came to the table to inquire about Learning Disabilities.
FYI – My personal favorites were bacon ice cream and bacon cupcakes! Thank you, Iowa State University, for the honor of being chosen as your Philanthropic Organization for the 2016 Bacon Expo.
About the Author
Vicki Goshon is an LDA America Board Member, a Past President of LDA Iowa, and a teacher of students with LD for 30+ years. She has served on the Iowa Department of Education’s Special Education Advisory Panel, has been instrumental in developing summer academies for students and developing an educational testing center in the Iowa Learning Disabilities Association.