Love is in the air…so is the smell of cattle.

February 14, 2017
Love is in the air…so is the smell of cattle. This week’s Iowa Beef Expo is Iowa's largest cattle show and is held on the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The Blue Ribbon Foundation has a booth set up inside the Cattle Barn with merchandise for sale. The Fairgrounds is buzzing with trucks, trailers and cows. It’s exciting to see the grounds in action in the middle of winter. 
 
Each August, the Iowa State Fair celebrates all things Iowa – including its rich livestock and agriculture heritage. Iowans proudly showcase their cattle, goats, pigs, sheep, horses, dogs, rabbits, chickens, llamas, and pigeons. (Did I miss anything?) The Iowa State Fair features one of the largest livestock shows in the world and winning a class is highly coveted.
 
Taking a casual stroll through a livestock barn on show day is anything but casual for an exhibitor. You can watch multiple generations working together to prepare their animals and put their best foot forward in the show ring. Some of the young 4-H and FFA members competing will grow up to pursue agriculture-related careers. Each could lead the industry, not only in Iowa but across the country. 
 
I grew up living in town but was fortunate to have a best friend that lived on a farm. I remember it was always an adventure when I got to spend the night at her house. I got to ride the school bus, cruise on a 4-wheeler and of course - do farm chores. Unlike my friend that did these chores as a daily part of her life – I enjoyed “helping” in the barns. I would tag along to sort sheep, feed cattle and scoop the poop. On the farm I learned to fish, the difference between straw and hay, and first got involved with 4-H. Memories I will keep with me forever.  
 
The Blue Ribbon Foundation is more than maintaining the Fairgrounds facilities. We are helping families maintain their State Fair memories. This Valentine’s Day, show your love to the Iowa State Fair by supporting the Blue Ribbon Foundation. Join a community of generosity and get even more involved with the Fair that you know and love. 
 
 
Livestock Show at the Fair
 
Construction on the Cattle Barn
 
Cattle Barn in the warm summer