Kim Reiner
Marketing and PR Manager
Omaha Children's Museum
(402) 930-2356

Once Upon A Farm exhibit earns national 2016 Communicator - EXHIBIT Award 
(Omaha, Neb.) - OCTOBER 14, 2016 -   Omaha Children's Museum's community-built exhibit, Once Upon A Farm, earned the  2016 Communicator - EXHIBIT Award presented by the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents.  J eff Barnhart, Chief Museum Officer from the Omaha Children's Museum, and Tracy J. Behnken, Nebraska Extension Educator, accepted the award on behalf of the core team that produced and presented the special exhibit on Thursday, October 13 at the association's 70th annual conference in New Orleans. 

Each year, the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA) recognizes members for their 4-H/Extension work by presenting awards for outstanding accomplishments in achievement, leadership, service and communication. More than 1,400 4-H youth development professionals from across the nation to participated in the conference. 

"The staff at Omaha Children's Museum is honored to receive this award, and we know we could not have successfully made Once Upon A Farm without the help of many community leaders and volunteers," said Barnhart.

A core team of agriculture advocates that included an Extension Educator worked with the Omaha Children's Museum to implement a special exhibit that focused on agriculture. The group met with the museum staff several times and served as consultants to help develop the strategies to accomplish the first-time special exhibit. The Omaha Children Museum had never provided agriculture education with such depth and was utilizing the core group to lead the success. 

The core team served as an advisory board for the Omaha Children's Museum and was instrumental in getting the exhibit off the ground included:
  • AKSARBEN River City Rodeo & 4-H Stock Show
  • Nebraska Corn Board
  • Midwest Dairy Association/ Nebraska Division
  • Nebraska Farm Bureau
  • Douglas County Farm Bureau
  • Nebraska Pork Producers
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension
  • Valmont
Once Upon A Farm opened on Oct. 14, 2014 and provided an opportunity for kids to experience farm life in the city. More than 150,000 museum guests visited the exhibit over its six-month run and experienced a variety of fun and interactive activities that helped children explore the world of agriculture. The exhibit was an opportunity for Extension to work with an urban setting and teach about Nebraska's greatest resource - agriculture.

"With the cooperation and 18 organizations, even the youngest visitors were able to get a look at the world of Nebraska agriculture," said Behnken.

The OCM Special Exhibit was submitted within the Communicator Awards - Exhibit category by Nebraska Extension Educator, Behnken, who served as a core team member and is a NAE4-HA member. The exhibit was select as a state (Nebraska), regional (North Central) and national award winner. At the conference Behnken, also presented a session called "Agriculture Advocates Navigate In-depth Ag Literacy at Children's Museum" that focused on the special exhibit created.
Photos from the exhibit Once Upon A Farm are available. To request a photo or an interview, please contact Kim Reiner, Marketing and PR Manager at Omaha Children's Museum, at 402-930-2356 or  

About Omaha Children's Museum
Since its inception in 1976, Omaha Children's Museum has been a special place where children can challenge themselves, discover how the world works and learn through play. The mission of Omaha Children's Museum is to engage the imagination and create excitement about learning. The museum's permanent exhibits include Charlie Campbell Science & Technology Center, Creative Arts Center including the Karen Levin Artist-in-Residence Studio, Imagination Playground and Walker Tire & Auto Service Center. In addition to its permanent exhibits, Omaha Children's Museum offers educational programs, traveling exhibitions, field trips, outreach programs, summer camps and early childhood programs.

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About National Association of Extension 4-H Agents
National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA) is a globally recognized, culturally diverse network for 4-H youth development professionals. Membership is open to local, regional, state or national Cooperative Extension staff members who work with 4-H youth programs. Affiliate membership is available to other youth development professionals, former NAE4-HA members, and supporters. Membership in this organization provides regional newsletters, opportunities for professional recognition and awards at state, regional and national levels, educational scholarships and grants, leadership development opportunities through association leadership positions and leadership development conferences and the opportunity to attend the annual NAE4-HA conference featuring professional improvement seminars, poster sessions, research papers and exhibits.

Museum Information
500 S. 20th St.
Omaha, NE 68102
(402) 342-6164

Museum Admission
Members: FREE
Adults & Children: $12
Adults 60+: $11
Under 24 months: FREE

Museum Winter Hours (Now until Memorial Day Weekend)
Tuesday - Friday: 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. (Tuesday 9-10 a.m. Member Hour)
Saturday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 - 5 p.m.
Closed on Mondays and major holidays