For years, the last week of August for my family has always been a trip to the Nebraska State Fair. My sisters and I would spend a week showing our Angus cattle in the open class and 4-H shows. Now that we’re all done showing cattle, we still try and make it to Grand Island, Nebraska for at least one day of the fair. The state fair is a great exposition to show off the many different agricultural industries of our state.
There are many things to do and see at the fair that you can only experience once a year. The moment we step onto the fairgrounds we head to the livestock barns. Catching up with friends and producers from around the state usually only happens at cattle shows. The livestock barns are a great place to see the various breeds of cattle roaming the state. Many producers, young and old, are glad to answer any questions you may have regarding the beef industry. If they cannot find an answer for you, they will point you in the direction of someone who can!
Eating at my favorite food vendors is something I look forward to each year. Known for their popular prime rib sandwich, the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Beef Pit is a hot ticket item for many fair goers. During the lunch hour, lines can stretch up to a 45 minute wait. This is also a great place to learn how beef cattle in Nebraska are raised. As you proceed through the line, facts and data about Nebraska beef and its producers line the walls.
After eating lunch it’s time to take a walk through the farm equipment displays lining the pavement. Here you can get up close and personal with combines, tractors and various cattle working facilities. It’s great to see modern day equipment and technology that Nebraska farmers and ranchers use every day.
Once we make our wish list of equipment, we’ll head to the Livestock Birthing Pavilion. The Birthing Pavilion provides the opportunity to witness live animal births under the supervision of trained animal science professionals. This is a great place to witness first hand the same humane care animals receive during the birthing process while on the farm. This is also a great place to ask any questions you may have about the first few days of an animals life. Not to mention the baby animals are always cute.
Lastly before we go home with a bag full of kettle corn, we’ll head over to the Raising Nebraska building to check out what farmers are doing to feed the world. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Cargill, and various commodity groups came together to create a 25,000 square foot facility that highlights the different areas of agriculture around Nebraska. Virtually from every angle, you are able to see what farmers are doing to conserve soil health, animal well-being, food safety, innovations within the industry, economic impact and global hunger. Many producers and representatives from agricultural companies around the state are there to answer any and every question you may have about the food you are eating. Raising Nebraska is designed to help visitors better understand and appreciate the advancements and impact Nebraska agriculture has around the world. These exhibits help to clear up any confusion and false information regarding agricultural technologies, GMOS, modern farms, humane cattle production and much more.
Without a doubt there is something for everyone at the Nebraska State Fair.Regardless of where you live or what career path you choose in Nebraska, agriculture affects you. The State Fair is a great place to get an overall picture about modern agriculture that’s safe, humane and sustainable. To find more Ag attractions at the fair visit http://www.statefair.org/events/agriculture