The N.C. Mountain State Fair wrapped up a successful run, posting strong attendance and a record number of youth participating in livestock competitions. These are good signs with the State Fair just around the corner.
Today’s Topic with Southern Farm Network’s Mike Davis
- I wanted to talk about the N.C. Mountain State Fair today, which wrapped up this past weekend in Fletcher.
- Some people may not know that the Department of Agriculture puts on two fairs annually – the Mountain State Fair in Fletcher and the State Fair in Raleigh.
- They are both great events that showcase agriculture and agribusiness in a variety of ways.
- The Mountain State Fair wrapped up its run with strong attendance and with record youth livestock numbers. I am proud of both, but I am especially proud of those livestock participants.
- We had record participation in our youth livestock shows, which I think really speaks well of the strong vocational ag and 4-H and FFA programs in schools.
- I am encouraged by the participation and I hope that their interest in showing livestock may lead some to a career in agriculture.
- Attendance was up over 26 percent from 2021, which I am not surprised by.
- I believe people are looking for ways to get out and do things with their families. And, of course, fairs are certainly a great option.
- Fairs across the country have also seen strong attendance.
- For example, the Minnesota Fair -the largest 10-day fair in the country – saw a 41.5 % increase in attendance over 2021 numbers and the Wisconsin State Fair saw a 19 % increase over 2021.
- I certainly hope this bodes well for the N.C. State Fair, which is coming up Oct. 13-23 in Raleigh. If folks haven’t gotten their tickets yet, I encourage them to do so. They can save some money and also save time when they get to the fair.
- We also do a similar food raising event in the mountains with Ingles grocery stores and MANNA Food Bank. This year we collected 17,651 pounds of canned goods in exchange for fair admission.
- We are proud of this partnership and the one we have in Raleigh at the State Fair with Smithfield Foods and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.
- This marks Smithfield Foods second year as Hunger Relief Day sponsor and we are grateful for their support.
- There is still a great deal of food insecurity, especially as prices on many things have gone up. The food banks continue to see tremendous need and we are happy to do our part in supporting the community through these efforts.
- I hope listeners will plan to come to the N.C. State Fair Oct. 13-23. We’ve got a lot of great things planned, plenty of new things and plenty of the things that people look forward to each year. Come see us.