DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa State Fair started off with cloudy, then rainy, skies on Monday.

A great place to get out of the rain and take the kids is the Paul Knapp Learning Center. There were lots of baby animals, including chicks hatching from the egg, before going under a heat lamp. Baby ducklings swimming in a pond, and a sow pig nursing her little ones. All something for kids to see indoors. The building is run by the Southeast Polk FFA.

“These are baby chicks on we have we get the eggs from a hatchery, once they come in, we have them in an incubator here so they could hatch,” said SE Polk student Maela Parsons. “We have about 20 students on each shift, and rotate to different stations while we are here.”

Next door, Little Hands of the Farm is made up of a number of companies putting on their own display of farm life for young kids.

“Little Hands on the Farm is an interactive exhibit here at the fair,” said Monica Friday, of Pleasantville, who runs the operation. “It’s for ages two through ten, and they come through here just learn how agriculture is so important in our in our everyday lives.”

Another fair exhibit, the Mountain Man Camp, recreates life from 1820 to 1840 when men lived on the land, trapping and trading furs with Native American tribes.

Monday also saw four young men compete for champion harmonica player. Henry Place of Pella got first place.

“I just practice with the song, for a while I didn’t know which one to play so I just mixed together. That’s the one I chose,” said Place.