The AG Extravaganza of Iowa

January 14, 2022
drewnorton's picture

Flipping through “Our State Fair – Iowa’s Blue Ribbon Story” is always entertaining and educational. The section titled “The Ag Extravaganza of Iowa” is full of interesting information.

Some people go to the Fair and don’t take in anything even remotely connected with agriculture. Oh, my! Are they missing a lot! Where else can you see Big Daddy, a Duroc purebred board that weighs 1,062 pounds? Or watch bees make honey while you’re eating honey? Or clap for Champions on Parade?

Whether you live on a farm or occasionally drive by one, you ought to take in the agriculture side of the Fair. Agriculture, after all, is why the Iowa State Agriculture Society established an annual exposition. The event was to be a simple showcase, primarily of stock and grains. Farmers would exchange experiences, discuss breeds of animals, types of grains, the latest inventions and rotation systems, and compete for ribbons showing “meritorious exertion”. More than anything else, the Fair would be a three-day school experience focusing on livestock, produce and machinery.

The Iowa State Fair’s evolution from a simple stock show to today’s agricultural extravaganza is a direct reflection of Iowa’s evolution from an untilled prairie to the very center of the nation’s food production. The Iowa State Fair has been the historical trademark of this progress.

The Blue Ribbon Foundation has been raising funds for the restoration and preservation for our beloved Fairgrounds since 1993. The first renovation of Grandfather’s Barn and the first new building constructed, the Service Center, were just the beginning.  One by one, barns and buildings across the Fairgrounds were improved. From unseen electrical updates or simple restroom improvements, to construction of a state-of-the-art exhibition center, the Blue Ribbon Foundation has been determined to make the Iowa State Fairgrounds one of the best.

The Foundation has been able to offer the Corndog Checkoff as a way for Iowans to financially support our efforts. While completing your Iowa State Tax Return, simply give a donation for the Iowa State Fairgrounds and provide a reliable source of funding for future renovations, building enhancements and maintenance to the Fairgrounds, ensuring the Fair will be a grand tradition for generations to come. Your donation will be deducted from your refund or added to the amount due. Contributions to the Corndog Checkoff are fully tax-deductible.

The Iowa State Fair is the true, ever-changing reflection of what’s best about Iowa. Over the years the Fair has never veered from one of its primary purposes - the enhancement of agriculture.