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Missouri State Fair could receive $47M for upgradesMissouri State Fair could receive $47M for upgrades

Here is a sneak peek at the federal and state funds designated for renovations to the fairgrounds.

Mindy Ward

July 19, 2022

1 Min Read
attendees walk towards the entrance of the Missouri State Fair
WELCOME INVESTMENT: During the 2022 legislative session, the Missouri State Fair saw an increase in money allocated to improve its facilities. The proposed fiscal 2023 appropriations are awaiting the governor’s signature. Courtesy of Missouri State Fair

Missouri is making a huge investment in the state fairgrounds over the next two years, with a price tag of more than $47 million.

Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe says the majority of the funds come from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), but additional money from the state will lead to improvements to the fairgrounds and a better overall fair experience for exhibitors and visitors.

Some highlights include a new covered arena that will take two years to build. The first year, the building will be designed, with the second year designated for construction. Wolfe is working to hire a designer for the project. Other plans include adding campsites and electric charging stations.

“We are so fortunate to have a governor so supportive of the state fairgrounds and agriculture,” Wolfe says. “There are many in the state legislature who have helped make this funding a reality as well.”

Timeline for projects

Wolfe says the bills are waiting for signatures. ARPA funds need to be used by the end of 2026 unless an extension is granted.

The state has been releasing funds in batches based on its ability to oversee projects from design to completion, Wolfe says. He foresees this approach continuing moving forward.

Here is a breakdown of the budgeted funds for 2023:


About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

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