In 2001, the Minnesota State Fair built a 50-foot by 80-foot state-of-the-art barn, which would feature cows, pigs and lambs. The Miracle of Birth Center was built to reflect modern animal production practices in the existing Children's Barnyard at the fairgrounds. Pregnant cows, pigs and lambs were transported from out state Minnesota for the special birthing exhibit in the Children's Barnyard.
The goal of this extraordinary exhibit was to bring the people of Minnesota a closer understanding of how farm animals sustain our daily lives. During the center's premiere season, approximately 400,000 fair goers witnessed the births of 32 lambs, 11 calves and 122 piglets during the fair's 12-day run.
Aside from the 65 large animal veterinarians, the sponsors of the center--University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association and the state Future Farmers of America--took all aspects of the animals care into consideration including their drinking water.
According to Mary Olson, an independent veterinarian serving the Cambridge and Mora area, "Cattle don't like to drink city water that has been treated with chlorine. They are very particular about the water they drink." An average cow is expected to drink up to 30 gallons of water every day. The veterinarians began trying to figure out why the animals wouldn't drink. They turned to EcoWater to get some answers. "I have an EcoWater System in my home that has worked great for the past several years," Olson said. "I knew exactly who to call." EcoWater was able to determine that the problem was the chlorine odor. The company provided a solution--a water filtering system--to eliminate the chlorine odor in the city water.
EcoWater Systems donated the ETF 2100 filter system that was installed for the Miracle of Birth Center exhibit, and Larry Currier, an metro area EcoWater dealer, donated his time to install carbon and any other parts that were needed.
The goal of the Miracle of Birth Center was to help people understand that many veterinarians and producers work very hard to help keep animals healthy and comfortable. Dechlorinated water was one very important step that could be made to keep the animals comfortable and healthy at the fair. We all know how important it is to stay hydrated, and it is important that the pregnant and nursing mothers have lots of fresh, good tasting water.
Since the system's installation, the unit has worked so well that EcoWater will continue to change the carbon or rebed the unit every year at no cost.
The EcoWater Systems dealers in the metro area worked together as a group at their exhibit a few blocks from the farm exhibit. Currier has continued to donate his time to the center each year. He concluded, "What I find interesting is that the farm animals would not drink city water, but we do!"