Yesterday, I took in the 26th Annual Ag Appreciation Day at the Sioux Empire Fair in Sioux Falls, S.D. My sister was competing in the 4-H CHARACTER COUNTS! speech contest, so we spent the day exploring the fair and meeting with farmers and ranchers around the country. Over 5,000 agriculturalists and their families showed up for a free luncheon, where over 1,650 pounds of pork was served. It was a great day to celebrate agriculture and visit with friends, old and new. We even stopped by Old MacDonald's Farm as young people worked hard to tell the food production story to a very urban audience.
Since the fair is located in the heart of South Dakota's largest city, many urban kids have very basic questions about farm animals, and FFA students from Harrisburg, S.D. were ready to tackle those questions as children visited the Old MacDonald Farm. The barn boasts an abundance of animals including: cattle, horses, pigs, ducks, geese, sheep, miniature ponies, puppies, kittens and educational booths. I was very proud of the FFA members who were all very eager to explain farm life to the visiting kids. It's refreshing to see such optimism and passion for the agriculture industry, and because Harrisburg is also a very urban community, some of the FFA students were learning while teaching the other urban kids.
Without a doubt, it was a great day at the 70th Anniversary Celebration of the Sioux Empire Fair. 4-H speech contests, an FFA petting zoo, livestock exhibits, farm and ranch luncheon and sunny weather made for a memorable day. My next stop in my calendar of events is DakotaFest in Mitchell, S.D. next week, and I hope to see some of you there!
BEEF Daily Quick Fact: 1954 was the first year in America's history where tractors were used more frequently than horses and mules on farms.