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Serving: IL
thin pork chops on grill Holly Spangler
PORK FAIR: Though the Illinois State Fair is canceled, the Illinois Pork Producers Association will still sell pork burgers and “chops-on-a-stick” at the fairgrounds.

Quick Take: Pork at the fairgrounds, Junior Livestock Expo and more

Pork Patio open at state fairgrounds Aug. 14 and 21. Details for Junior Livestock Expo available. U of I offers virtual field days. Insurance company hosts virtual 4-H fair.

Illinois State Fairgrounds still hosting Pork Patio

The Pork Patio at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield will still open Aug. 14 and Aug. 21 despite the fair’s cancellation amid the coronavirus pandemic. Serving begins at 11 a.m. both days in the Commodities Pavilion, at the intersection of Grandstand Avenue and the Avenue of Flags. Only two menu items will be served along with chips and water, with the Illinois Pork Producers Association offering pork burgers and bone-in pork chops — otherwise known as “chop-on-a-stick.” Customers can buy a bulk case of 60 pork chops, each weighing 8 to 11 ounces, for $165 per case. Reserve yours by emailing or calling 217-529-3100.

Junior Livestock Expo details announced

The Illinois Department of Agriculture recently released entry forms for the Junior Livestock Expo and Junior Horse Show taking place on the Illinois and Du Quoin state fairgrounds. While the state fairs have been canceled, the livestock shows are still a go. The forms must be mailed in and are available on the IDOA website.

The Junior Livestock Expo will take place in Springfield over two weekends in September. Session 1 participants — beef, sheep, dairy goats, pygmy goats, rabbits and poultry — must have their entry forms postmarked by Aug. 10. Session 2 participants — swine, dairy cattle and meat goats — must have their entry forms postmarked by Aug. 17. The Junior Horse Show will be held on the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds over two weekends, as well. Entry forms for both the English and Western shows must be postmarked by Aug. 10. Overnight camping will be available in Du Quoin at a rate of $25 per night.

IDOA will award ribbons to champions, reserve champions, grand champions and reserve grands in each species, and will pay out premiums based on total entry monies received in a jackpot-style format. The junior shows are open to Illinois residents only, ages 8-21.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Junior Livestock Expo will be held in the “show and go” format, discouraging overnight camping and the stalling or penning of any species. Species with the ability to show off trailers will be asked to do so. In addition, all exhibitors, family members and general public at both locations must adhere to the 6-feet-apart social distancing guidelines and will be required to wear a protective face covering at all times while on the fairgrounds.

The Junior Livestock Expo will take place Sept. 11-13 and Sept. 18-20. The Junior Horse Show will be held Aug. 29-30 and Sept. 5-6.

U of I Monmouth site offers virtual field days

The annual fall field day updates for the Northwestern Illinois Agriculture Research and Demonstration Center in Monmouth, Ill., are going virtual this year. University of Illinois Extension educators will provide 30-minute field interviews and preliminary data from current research.

Aug. 11. Commercial ag educator Chelsea Harbach will give an update on soybean cyst nematode and the current research projects underway. Register online.

Aug. 12. Entomologist Nick Seiter will discuss corn rootworm project overviews and results at the research farm. Register online.

Aug. 13. Commercial ag educator Phillip Alberti will discuss early-season production considerations for hemp. Register online.

Aug. 14. Crop pathologists will discuss tar spot projects at the research farm in 2020. Register online.

All sessions start at 1 p.m. CT. The virtual field days are free and accessible using any computer, tablet or mobile device with the free Zoom app. Register online to receive login information. Participants can also sign up to receive 0.5 credit of certified crop adviser continuing education units for each session.

Insurance company hosts virtual 4-H fair

Crop Risk Services is hosting a virtual fair for active 4-H members to submit their projects for judging by volunteers from the Decatur, Ill.-based insurance company. Projects will be highlighted on the company’s social media and will earn $50 for the national 4-H Forward fund. Until Aug. 20, active 4-H members can submit one project to Crop Risk Services. Families need not be insured by the company. To enter a project, 4-H members must do the following:

  1. Fill out the project entry form found at As it applies, the applicant’s local agent or employee connection should be supplied on the entry form.
  2. Snap a photo of yourself with the project.
  3. Send the project entry form and photo to

From there, the company will review the project and then share it on social media. At the close of the virtual fair, Crop Risk Services will donate up to $25,000 for the 4-H members they honor. To learn more, visit

TAGS: Crops 4H
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