The Indiana State Fair is the state's largest annual celebration of agriculture and includes many hard-working youth and adults exhibiting their crops and livestock, yet the majority of fair visitors still don't fully appreciate the key role farmers play in feeding and clothing the world population.
It started with corn. It continued with pigs. The Indiana State has subsequently featured tomatoes, trees, soybeans and dairy cows during its annual summertime celebration, and now it plans to promote the one thing all these commodities have in common – the farmer.
State Fair and Dow AgroSciences executives alongside Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann have declared 2015 to be the Year of the Farmer. Festivities and events will begin early in 2015 and culminate at the State Fair in August.
"American farmers are the heroes of modern agriculture as they devote their lives to producing food, fiber and fuel, and there is no better place to showcase their efforts than the Indiana State Fair," said Rajan Gajaria, Vice President of North American and Latin America, Dow AgroSciences. "Dow AgroSciences is delighted to be in partnership with the Indiana State Fair Commission to kick off what will be a very memorable year as the spotlight shines on Indiana's farm families and reinforces the importance of Indian agriculture here at home and around the world."
Next year's State Fair will feature a number of unique programs and events to honor Indiana's farmers and it farming heritage, including:
• A Harvest Dinner during the State Fair
• A Farm's Care food drive
• A speaker series on the importance of modern farming
• A creative writing contest for school kids centering on the Year of the Farmer
With the exception of the Harvest Dinner, the other initiatives will begin early in 2015 to extend the reach of this year's fair theme.
"A main reason the Indiana State Fair continues to thrive after 157 years in existence is the focus we place on agriculture," said Indiana State Fair Executive Director Cindy Hoye. "At the heart of agriculture is the individual farmer and, especially here in Indiana farm families. We want them to understand how much they mean to our everyday lives, and this is one way we can to that."