Missouri Department of Agriculture Announces Dairy Cattle Protocols for the 2024 Missouri State Fair

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Agriculture and Missouri State Veterinarian Steve Strubberg announce updated biosecurity protocols for dairy cattle exhibiting at the 2024 Missouri State Fair, scheduled for Aug. 8-18 in Sedalia.

  • All lactating dairy cattle must have a negative H5N1 influenza test within seven days prior to arrival at the Missouri State Fairgrounds.
  • Lactating cows should be milked on personal milking machines. The Fairgrounds milking parlor will not be made available to exhibiting dairy cattle.

“These health requirements are in place for the 2024 Missouri State Fair in an effort to protect the dairy industry and all of agriculture,” Dr. Strubberg said. “There have been no cases of H5N1 influenza detected in Missouri dairy cattle. Still, we want to operate in a manner of caution while allowing dairy exhibitors the opportunity to show their animals.”

MDA has provided guidelines for testing lactating dairy cows. Testing must be completed at a NAHLN veterinary diagnostic laboratory, such as the MDA Animal Health Laboratory in Springfield or the University of Missouri Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in Columbia, with samples submitted by an accredited veterinarian. There will be no laboratory charges for the test and results can be reported upon arrival to the Fair with a lab report or on the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection document.

Exhibitors and their veterinarians are asked to alert the laboratory prior to submission to ensure adequate time is allowed for results prior to the Missouri State Fair. Samples must be collected from each lactating cow within seven days of arrival to the Fairgrounds.

The use of portable milking machines is another step to avoid spreading the virus unknowingly from one herd to another. Missouri State Fair staff will work with exhibitors to collect and properly dispose of the milk, which will not enter the food supply.

“The dairy cattle show is an important and historical part of the Missouri State Fair,” Strubberg continued. “We want to do everything possible to continue the tradition of exhibiting dairy cattle at the Fair, while also maintaining healthy, safe dairy herds.”

For more information about the Missouri Department of Agriculture and its programs, visit the Department online at Agriculture.Mo.Gov.

See a full schedule of events for the Missouri State Fair at MoStateFair.com.