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Missouri State Fair opens this week

Know before you go: There are new rules and classes for livestock exhibitors.

Mindy Ward, Editor, Missouri Ruralist

August 8, 2023

2 Min Read
A man walking a Hereford cow through a walkway at a fair
TRADITION STARTS HERE: The Missouri State Fair, set for Aug. 10-20, is an annual event for many farm families across the state. This year, they are celebrating those who exhibit and those who attend throughout the generations.Mindy Ward

Whether competing or simply visiting the Missouri State Fair, there is something for everyone.

This year’s theme is "Where Traditions Grow." The event runs from Aug. 10-20 in Sedalia, Mo. And while many traditions stay the same, there are always a few changes.

If you are 4-H or FFA member who takes part in the beef or rabbit show, make note of these new rules or classes:

Beef. All exhibitors, except beef cattle, must bring their own bedding during the 2023 fair. Livestock exhibitors are also expected to bring their own feed — additional feed and bedding will not be available for purchase during the fair. Beef cattle exhibitors will be charged $10 per head for bedding to be paid along with entries.

Rabbits. There are a number of new classes this year. They include:

  • Britannia Petite — Himalayan and Tortoise Shell

  • Jersey Wooly — Orange

  • Lionhead — Smoke Pearl

  • Mini Rex — Sable Marten

  • Netherland Dwarf — Agouti Lutino and Orange Lutino

Beyond the show ring

Looking for a little more agriculture in your state fair experience? The Missouri Department of Agriculture offers a list of “don’t miss” attractions for all fairgoers:

Agriculture Building. The area showcases all the great things that make agriculture Missouri’s No. 1 industry. Experts from Missouri commodity groups and college agriculture programs, among other agriculture organizations and companies, will be present. Hams, bacon, summer sausage, apiculture, horticulture and dairy products are all on display in the building.

Missouri Grown Market. Open daily inside the Agriculture Building, this area offers fresh and nutritious products grown in the Show-Me State available for purchase.

AgVenture. This exhibit offers hands-on, kid-friendly activities exploring Missouri agriculture from farm to fork facilitated by the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Let’s Talk Livestock. Sponsored by Tractor Supply Co., this program provides youth exhibitors opportunities to educate fairgoers about livestock production with demonstrations on topics such as showmanship, animal care and more. You can find them scattered throughout the fairgrounds, typically by the livestock barns.

Children’s Barnyard. Local FFA chapters fill the space with animals owned by their members. It offers fairgoers a chance to see and interact with livestock. In addition, Barnyard Story Time, offers young fairgoers a chance to take a seat and listen to an agriculture story book read by a state fair exhibitor or agriculture leader. The Children’s Barnyard is sponsored by The Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association,

Take some time this week, and travel to the Missouri State Fair. Make it a family tradition.

Read more about:

Missouri State Fair

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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