The next leader of the Missouri State Fair will have some large cowboy boots to fill. After 14 years on the job, Director Mark Wolfe is retiring.

“I wrote my letter to him and tore it up 19 times over the last six months and tossed it around in my mind is this the right thing to do, and should I do this and, is it time for me to go. You know, it really came down to one a chance to spend some more time with my parents. Most of my family lives down in South Missouri,” he said.

Wolfe is retiring as work begins to update to the state fairgrounds, including a new arena that will be able to hold rodeos, building maintenance and new campsites.

He said one of the best parts of the fair is working with 4-H and FFA members from across the state.

“One of my favorite things at the fair is to get a chance to go in and watch some kids show,” said Wolfe. “I don’t seem to get to do enough of that. It seems like about the time I get there, I get called away or something happens, you know, so I really enjoy watching the kids exhibit.”

Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chinn said this year’s fair is

“We’re going to work hard to find someone that matches Mark’s caliber at the fairgrounds,” she said.

The Missouri State Fair will be August 10 – 20 in west-central Missouri’s Sedalia.

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