When some people think about a Fair, the first thing that comes to their minds are likely carnivals and fried food. However, when I think of the Missouri State Fair the first thing that comes to my mind is agriculture.
The Missouri State Fair has been teaching the public about agriculture since the very beginning. While many fairs have made the transition to target a more urban market, the Missouri State Fair isn’t losing sight of the agriculture tradition anytime soon. Almost everywhere you go on the grounds, you can learn something about Missouri agriculture. Missouri’s number one industry is agriculture, so it only makes sense that it is our Fair’s main focus.
It’s even an integral part of the Fair’s mission statement, which states, “The Missouri State Fair promotes excellence in Missouri agriculture, cultivates and supports future leaders in agriculture, and provides opportunities for the agricultural community to deepen consumers’ understanding and appreciation of agriculture’s role in their daily lives and the economy of our state.”
The Missouri State Fair plays an essential role in promoting Missouri’s agriculture by teaching fairgoers about Missouri’s number one industry during our 11-day event. We hope you leave the Fair with a broader understanding of Missouri’s pride and joy and share that knowledge with others to help spread the importance of Missouri’s agricultural heritage.
We stay true to our mission statement by making the Fair the perfect place for Missouri’s best of the best in agriculture to gather. We look up to our Farm Families of the Year, help send our youth in agriculture off to college, honor our best Missouri wines, offer a platform to see outstanding livestock, and provide an environment that allows businesses to showcase their newest farming equipment. But we also do so much more. We provide programs like Barnyard Story Time and Let’s Talk Livestock to teach children and adults about animals on the farm. We have a Conservation Building where fairgoers can learn hands-on about different wildlife and nature found in Missouri, and have an Agriculture Building that’s dedicated to endless activities and demonstrations over many aspects of Missouri Agriculture.
Our passion and fortitude to teach fairgoers about agriculture is no secret, nor does it go unnoticed. Last year, the Missouri State Fair was internationally recognized for excellence in agriculture education, along with many other recognitions.
For me, agriculture has always been a big part of my life. Growing up on a crop farm in Northwest Missouri, I always knew agriculture would hold a special place in my heart, and attending the Missouri State Fair every year has only helped fuel that passion. From the time I was very young I remember the Missouri State Fair aspiring me to be more and more dedicated to agriculture. One of my first and favorite memories of the Fair was acting out the life cycle of a corn stalk in the Agriculture Building. I didn’t miss a single show time that year, so I could act like a corn stalk in front of the crowd, every show time, every day. As I got older, I started doing public speaking and 4-H demonstrations, showing swine and having my crops judged in the FFA Building. Everything I did at the Missouri State Fair was because of my passion for agriculture. The Fair allowed me take my passion and do something with it every year, as well as teaching me new aspects of Missouri Ag. The Fair has, and always will be the perfect place for people of an urban or farm background to gather to gain knowledge about Missouri Ag, as well as encouraging them to continue their appetite for it.
The Missouri State Fair is proud of our agriculture roots and we look forward to teaching you more about it this year. You’ll see what’s new and improved on the farm when you “Come Home.”