The State Fair marks the end of summer for many youth in Missouri.
This year’s Fair begins next week with an 11-day run, showcasing Missouri agriculture, particularly for FFA and 4-H students from all over the state. Fair Director Mark Wolfe says that follows a lot of hard work for those youth.
“A lot of our youth go out and exhibit at their county fairs and kinda use that as a barometer to see … are they ready to go to the State Fair? Are they going to make that investment in that entry to go to the State Fair and try to win at that level, but you know we have county fairs that occur after the State Fair is over, too.”
This year’s theme is “Chicks Dig It,” meant to celebrate women in agriculture while taking its cue from the combination of a popular country song and a winner from a prize-winning photograph in a Department of Agriculture contest.
“A little boy and baby chickens crawling all over him, and he’s just dying laughing, so it was kind of a fun thing and that’s where that came from. Out of that came an opportunity to single our ag women out and take a day at the Fair, so this year on Thursday August 15 we’re going to let women of all ages in the Fair that day for free and we’ve got things going on all over the Fairgrounds that day to kinda honor them and give them a chance to have a day that’s really geared towards them.”
Wolfe encourages Missourians to attend the Fair because that’s what keeps it going.
“We’re really, truly, pretty much a not-for-profit organization out there and we keep the Fair going by people’s participation in the Fair. We have a lot of great volunteers and a lot of people give up a lot of time to come out and put that on and we do it for one reason, and that’s to support agriculture in this state and support our youth.”
Find out more about this year’s Fair at its website.
Tom Steever with Brownfield Ag News Contributed to this story.