Thursday, August 11, 2011

"The Missouri State Fair is here" by Senator Bill Stouffer, Dist.21, Majority Caucus Chair

The Missouri State Fair Is Here

It is August, meaning one of the biggest events of the year is here. The annual Missouri State Fair is back in Sedalia.

Aug. 11-21 marks the culmination of an active summer for hundreds of folks from rural Missouri. Most of their summer is spent in varying competitions at county fairs, in an effort to make it all the way to the State Fair. Agriculture is at the heart of this annual event.

Missouri has had a state fair since 1901. Regardless of any changes in the past 110 years, one thing has stayed the same at the fair: agriculture. In fact, it was a group of livestock breeders who got the ball rolling to start a fair in the late 1800s. This led to legislation in the Missouri General Assembly in 1899. After that, the State Board of Agriculture toured the six locations that were finalists for the permanent location of the Missouri State Fair: Centralia, Chillicothe, Marshall, Mexico, Moberly and Sedalia. The site was chosen based on proximity to the Missouri River and railroads. Plus, land was donated to the state specifically for this purpose.

Among the highlights this year will be the Rural Lifestyles Showcase. This is an opportunity for folks to learn about rural Missouri and to incorporate rural living into their everyday lives. This will include demonstrations by 4-H and FFA, “Celebrate Missouri Gardens,” Family Living and the farm toy show.

There are other events at the fair, including days set aside for different groups: “Military Appreciation Day,” set for Aug. 14; “Farm Family Day” on the 15th; and “Missouri Farmers Care Food Drive Tuesday,” which will be Aug. 16. Plus, there will be numerous shows on the grandstand.

I am looking forward to the fair, and the weather looks to be cooler than what we have seen not only in past years, but just the past month here in Missouri. I look forward to seeing you and your family in Sedalia Aug. 11-21 for the Missouri State Fair. If you would like more information about the fair, long on to or call 800-422-FAIR (3247).