Ferris Wheels, Funnel Cakes and Agriculture

There is something so idyllic about state and county agricultural fairs.

According to the Iowa State University Center for Agricultural History and Rural Studies, the first agricultural fairs gave rural families an opportunity to see firsthand the latest agricultural techniques, equipment, crops and livestock. Throughout the course of the 19th century, fairs also incorporated a wide range of educational, recreational, competitive and social activities into their programs and within a few short generations, county and state fairs became a quintessential American tradition.

Today, there are more than 90 county fairs throughout Ohio that take place from June to October every year.

One of the most popular fairs in the state is the Ohio State Fair, which takes place this year July 27 until August 7. Our state fair is one of the largest state fairs in the U.S. From the very first three-day fair in 1850 in Cincinnati to the 11-day exposition of today, the Ohio State Fair has celebrated Ohio's products, its people and their accomplishments for more than 150 years.

Like most events, the fair has changed with the times, but the one constant is that the fair is an agricultural showplace for Ohio's leading agricultural products and livestock.

Ohio State Fair Milestones (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohio_State_Fair)

  • 1903: The first butter cow and calf were featured (Each year a different theme is presented, but the cow and calf always return, weighing in at about 1,500 pounds)
  • 1929: The Junior Fair Board was formed consisting of outstanding individuals from various youth organizations including 4-H, Future Farmers of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, Boy Scouts of America and the Farm Bureau Youth
  • 1968: The first sale of champions livestock auction was held with sales amounting to $22,674
  • 2000: The fair celebrated its 150th anniversary
For more information about the 2011 Ohio State Fair, visit http://www.ohiostatefair.com/.

I encourage you to visit your own local county fair or our state fair if you get the chance. There is always something for everyone to enjoy — from livestock shows and local produce judging, to tractor pulls and numerous food-stand selections — What’s not to love?

For a full listing of county fairs throughout Ohio, visit http://www.ohiofairs.org/listoffairs.html.

What are your favorite county or state fair memories? Does your family or does anyone who you know participate in any agriculture-related activities at your local fair? If so, what is your/their involvement?

Photo obtained from: planetozkids.com

1 comment:

Momof2 said...

The state fair is 12 days long. Used to be 17, but was shortened several years ago to 12.