The Farm Bureau Family Education Center has a grain box play area with straw bale seating, interactive games, puzzles, a coloring contest, and balloons. Check the tent for a special time each day for the children to add a small painted agricultural theme to their face or hand.
Each time a young competitor takes the lead in the Empire Farm Days Kiddie Tractor Pull for youngsters up to age 12 he or she will receive a coupon for a free ice cream. All participants receive a coupon for 50 cents off an ice cream at the Seneca County Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H Dairy Bar at the event. Parents must sign a permission slip; the $5 entry fee benefits the Cazenovia, Marcus Whitman, Moravia, and Vernon-Verona-Sherrill NYS FFA Chapters that are staffing the friendly competition daily from 9 am to 2 pm.
Throughout the day at the top of the hour from 10 am through 3 pm, the 8-ton JCB Dancing Digger backhoe will perform hydraulic handstands, rolls, and other maneuvers set to music.
The New York State Grange Center will open its daily programming with a Fire Safety is Fun with Dalmatian Sparks and Tibbie Dell presentation from 9:30 to 10 am and has added a new program on The History of Hot Wheel Cars with Richard McKee at 1:35 pm each day.
Water safety is the theme of demonstrations throughout each day at the farm pond at Empire Farm Days as New York Sea Grant, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and New York State Marine Services Bureau personnel demonstrate the various types of life saving devices. A special session at noon each day will focus on canoe, kayak and paddleboard safety.
Members of New York's first scholastic trap shooting team will be in the Outdoor Center. Students, parents, coaches and administrators from Belleville Henderson Central School will be on hand to talk about how the sport is catching on with families statewide.
For teens thinking about careers in agriculture, the Wednesday, August 10-only Junior DAIRY LEADERS program at 1:30 pm includes student presentations on their year-long learning experience with hands-on career education for youth between the ages of 16 and 19.
The daily 11 am and 2 pm Equine Center Round Pen Seminars with live horses are popular with families that like horses. The Cornell Center includes a Plant and Insect Sleuth exhibit for kids who like bugs, and a 4-H Energy Interactive display lets you make smoothies by generating power on an energy bicycle.
Experience Empire is the theme of the 300-acre Empire Farm Days in 2016 with educational seminars; crop, live animal, and working equipment demonstrations; Test Drive and Ride experiences; and a host of exhibits and information on agriculture, the outdoors, and rural living. Parking is $10 per vehicle. Rodman Lott and Son Farms is located at 2973 State Route 414. Learn more at empirefarmdays.com.