Visiting the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines is the highlight of the summer for many people, an August tradition. Many of those who exhibit at the fair work toward this event year-round raising livestock, growing crops, vegetables, flowers and perfecting family recipes. Year after year people return with friends and family to experience Iowa's great celebration, a salute to the state's best in entertainment, agriculture, industry and achievement. To plan your visit, you'll find information and a schedule at the State Fair's website. Here are some highlights of this year's fair August 8-18.
HIGHLIGHT #1: Bright future of Iowa agriculture seen at 2013 Iowa State Fair
Folks attending the Iowa State Fair should be sure to visit the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship's booth in the Agriculture Building. The display includes a truck that fairgoers can "ride in" as they watch a video showing the journey of food from the farm all the way to the grocery store. Also on display are new technologies being used by farmers to better care for the animals, their land and water quality while improving productivity.
The state ag department is giving away sunglasses that say "Iowa's Agriculture is so bright…" to fairgoers to highlight the bright future of the industry in Iowa. Fairgoers are invited to share photos of themselves wearing the sunglasses on social media with the hashtag #StateFairShades.
"The future of Iowa agriculture is incredibly bright and the Iowa State Fair is a great place to share that story with the more than 1 million visitors that will be on the grounds during the fair," says Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. "I hope as people come out to the state fair they'll take time to stop by the ag building and learn a little more about the exciting opportunities available through Iowa agriculture."
Don't miss unique displays in the Ag Building, including Whipple's General Store and Brown's Cafe
Whipple's General Store and Brown's Café are part of the display in the ag building again this year and provide fairgoers with resources and samples from Iowa agriculture groups. Samples and information are available from Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Egg Council, Midwest Dairy Association, Iowa Turkey Federation, Iowa Pork Producers, and the Iowa Beef Industry Council.
The ag department also has a booth in the Varied Industries building that educates Iowans about the department and continues the tradition of weighing fairgoers on a scale certified by the ag department's Weights and Measures Bureau.