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See bugs, scarecrows, moldy food at State Fair

Visiting the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's (MDA) 2013 State Fair exhibit will be an adventure for everyone, say ag leaders. The exhibit features five MDA programs that showcase how the agency protects people and the environment and promotes Minnesota agricultural products.

Located in the North Hall of the Agriculture/Horticulture Building, this fun, family friendly exhibit will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily during the 12 days of the State Fair.

Here's a peek at the five areas for visitors to explore:

· Bed Bug Room - you and your kids will have fun trying to find the bed bugs (not real!) hiding in the room. You'll learn how to identify bed bugs and how to protect your family from the growing problem of bed bugs. There will be scientific examples of bed bugs and an opportunity to take a fun bed bug photo. Experts from MDA and the University of Minnesota will have real bed bugs on display for one day only, Thursday, August 29, from 12:30-5:00 p.m.

· Minnesota Grown Family Fun - discover what foods are grown in our great state and get to know a farmer. Members of the Minnesota Grown promotional program will be on hand to discuss the products they grow and talk about their farming practices. Kids can pick apples from a magnetic apple tree and take a photo opportunity with a scarecrow.

· Minnesota Deli - here you can test your food safety knowledge and find out what MDA inspectors look for when they inspect Minnesota's grocery and convenience stores. Why is the coleslaw moldy? Learn how ice cream gets from the dairy farm to your freezer.

· Green Lawns/Blue Lakes - learn some great tips for keeping your lawn healthy and green, and our lakes healthy and blue. Simple things such as proper fertilizing and watering can make a big difference in lawn health and subsequently the viability of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes.

· The North Star Campground - learn to recognize the damage gypsy moths and emerald ash borers can cause and how you can help to prevent their spread. Find out why these bugs are on Minnesota's "Most Wanted" list.

The Minnesota State Fair runs from Thursday, August 22 through Labor Day, September 2.