New U.S. Botanic Garden Exhibit Spotlights Agricultural Science, People-Food Connections

May 6, 2022

products made from corn range from chips to shoes to makeupThe United States Botanic Garden (USBG) has opened a new exhibit sharing the stories of agriculture  – from the people that grow the food and the important cultural connections food provides to modern techniques and scientific innovations that make agriculture more sustainable and productive. “Cultivate: Growing Food in a Changing World” will be on display through December 2023. 

Visitors can explore the galleries and gardens to learn how inventive ideas in agriculture, both scientific and social, sustain and enrich life and how growing and cooking food connects people with each other and their communities. Agriculture, the science and technique of growing crops and livestock, depends on innovating how we grow plants. Agricultural innovation and knowledge sharing continue today in laboratories, on farms, and at botanic gardens like the USBG.

“We are overjoyed to share this exhibit celebrating agriculture and food with our visitors,” said Saharah Moon Chapotin, USBG executive director. “The foods we eat every day are the result of generations of innovations by farmers and the many people working in agriculture today. We hope this exhibit inspires visitors to become more engaged in agriculture and food and builds a better understanding of how the future of agriculture is interconnected with our planet’s sustainability.”

Visitors can see dozens of colorful varieties of corn and learn about the wild relatives of modern plants we eat, go hands-on to explore the science of agriculture through microscopes and hand lenses, dive into the stories of the many different peoples that have farmed the land through the centuries, and enjoy the smells of the plants that connect several local chefs with their food cultures as they share their stories in their own words. 

Continue your exploration through vibrant interactives showing how plants impact beloved recipes from around the world, see innovative home gardening through hydroponics and kitchen garden techniques, and test your knowledge of popular foods through fascinating world maps created from grains and legumes.

A new gift store run by the Friends of the U.S. Botanic Garden and local D.C. small business Rewild is operating in the Conservatory's West Gallery, offering botanically-themed gifts for purchase. The store is open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily.

The exhibit comes to life through the stories of more than 75 people and organizations from the United States and around the world. Programs connected to the exhibit’s themes are underway and will continue throughout its run. Find upcoming programs and plan your visit at


Online folder of exhibit photos for media use

Media contact: Devin Dotson, U.S. Botanic Garden, 202-306-6743

About U.S. Botanic Garden

The United States Botanic Garden (USBG) is the oldest continuously operating public garden in the United States, created in 1820. The USBG informs visitors about the importance and fundamental value and diversity of plants, as well as their aesthetic, cultural, economic, therapeutic, and ecological significance. With over a million visitors annually, the USBG strives to demonstrate and promote sustainable practices. It is a living plant museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and Botanic Gardens Conservation International. 

Visitors explore the science of agriculture - microscopes bring the parts of soil, agricultural insects into view