Last week, the Iowa State Fair showed us all how rural America can come together to spread kindness and good in the world. Iowa’s Governor Charity Steer Auction raised $284,000 for the Ronald McDonald House.
State Fair season is upon us. In fact, this week we are busy packing the camper, clipping bulls and getting ready to head to the South Dakota State Fair next week.
For me, fair time is the last hoorah of summer — a time to connect with old friends, compete in cattle shows, enjoy some greasy fair food and make memories as a family.
What’s more, it’s also an opportunity to showcase to the rest of the world, how farmers and ranchers, come together to celebrate agriculture through fun community events and acts of service.
Take, for example, Diesel Pippert, a seventh grader from Ohio who donated the $15,000 he earned in livestock premiums at his county fair to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
Of this generous gift, Western Reserve Schools shared on Facebook, “A young man lives amongst us who should be an example to us all. WR 7th grader Diesel Pippert donated all of his livestock premiums to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital today at the Huron County Fair large animal sale. His donation of $15,000 will help to find cures for young children and save lives. Diesel, you are a hero!”
Back in Iowa, Gracie Greiner, Iowa’s Pork Queen, helped a sow birth her piglets at the Animal Learning Center at the Iowa State Fair.
Wearing her tiara, Greiner was elbow-deep in the sow while fair-goers watched the events unfold.
"The piglet was pretty big, and one of the last ones which meant she was super tired," Greiner told USA Today. "Pulling pigs ensures that more piglets come out alive which is why we did it. We care about our animals and do everything we can to keep them healthy and comfortable!”
Meanwhile at the Kentucky State Fair, attendees can enjoy AgLand, an exhibit presented by Kentucky’s farm families. It includes everything from 4-H and FFA exhibits to a discovery farm featuring cattle, goats, llamas, sheep, poultry and swine, a field to fork corn maze and a classroom curriculum for teachers to implement in schools.
I know this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to good advocacy and community outreach happening at state fairs across the country. If you have a great story to share from the state fair, I would love to hear it! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.