Missouri State Fair kicks off Thursday

The director of the Missouri State Fair says agriculture is at the heart of the 10-day event which kicks off on Thursday.

The theme of the fair is “Where Traditions Grow” and Mark Wolfe says competitions for youth in agriculture at the fair is where many traditions start.

“From my chair, it’s good to see kids grow up. I’ve been in this role long enough now that I’ve seen them start their career showing and move on,” says Wolfe. “Some of them are back working in agriculture with kids of their own and it’s a neat thing to see happen.”

Youth livestock shows start on Tuesday before the official fair kickoff and end with dairy cattle shows on Sunday, August 20. Missouri Agriculture Director Chris Chinn says with agriculture being the top economic driver in the state, the fair is a great time to connect with state officials, lawmakers and farmers.

“Monday, August 14, Congressman Mark Alford will have a farm bill listening session at the fairgrounds,” she says. “This is the first time we can remember this has ever taken place on the state fairgrounds. It will happen on the Nucor Director’s Pavilion. There’s a lot of opportunities to get your voice heard.”

Chinn says there’s also a Ham Breakfast with Governor Mike Parson on Thursday, August 17 and many projects in the 4-H and FFA buildings to view, along with dairy displays and demonstrations at the Gerken Dairy Center. And agriculture groups, including Missouri Farmers Care, use the state fair as a time to give back in the Drive for Kids.

“The first year we did that we had 420 FFA members packing 52,000 meals. We thought that was tremendous and the food was distributed through all the food banks across Missouri. Last year, we had 700 FFA members pack more than 150,000 meals. The goal this year is to pack 160,000 meals.”

The Missouri State Fair is August 10 – 20 in Sedalia.

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