MO ag leaders gearing up for state fair

Missouri ag leaders are gearing up for the state fair as the August 11th kick off date approaches. Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe says the fair is a great opportunity to offer ag education in a fun way with livestock shows, ag exhibits and other attractions.  

“What are we doing in our programming that gives us a chance to educate people that really don’t know as much about agriculture,” he said. “All the rest of it is just part of the entertainment package you get for the cost of admission.”

Missouri Agriculture Director Chris Chinn said the state fair is a key event for 4-H’ers and FFA members.  She tells Brownfield for her as a kid…

“The highlight was to go to the 4-H building and find your project that you got to submit to be shown at the State Fair,” Chinn said. “The other thing that is a favorite are the Budweiser Clydesdales. I’m excited to say that they are going to be back this year.”

And she said there’s something for everyone in this year’s concert lineup.

“ZZ Top to KC and the Sunshine Band, Trace Adkins, Sam Hunt, Justin Moore, the Casting Crowns…”

Wolfe said he’s expecting more fairgoers this year after somewhat down attendance in 2021.

“Sometimes people adjust their lifestyle to ‘you know, I’ve always gone to the fair but we didn’t have it last year (2020) and I couldn’t go and I found something else I like to do’, well, we have got to get them back from that and back to the fair.”

The state fair was canceled in 2020 because of COVID-19 with a livestock show held in its place. Wolfe tells Brownfield one of the biggest threats for attendance this year could be fuel prices…

“We truly are from the Show Me state,” Wolfe said. “I think folks in this state go ‘show me good weather and cheap gas [and] I’ll be there,” he said. “’Otherwise, I’m going to wait and see what happens’.”

He said fair entries were sharply down heading into last week until about half of the yearly number of entries came in in one day.

This year’s fair is August 11th through August 21st

Chris Chinn, Mark Wolfe 2022 MO State Fair Interview

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