Agriculture—the Heart of the Nebraska State Fair

With all the entertainment, rides and games—the food, shopping and commotion, it’s sometimes easy to forget that agriculture is at the heart of the Nebraska State Fair.

Joseph McDermott, executive director of the fair said, “Since 1868 when farmers and ranchers and their families brought their prized animals and baked goods for competition—they also talked to neighbors and friends about the latest farming practices, machinery and most likely shared a story or two. The same is really true today.”

“Whether it’s Raising Nebraska telling the story of our food from farm to fork, or the agricultural machinery and equipment displays, the State Fair has and always will work to educate Nebraskan’s about our number one economic driver—Agriculture,” McDermott said.

The fairground complex itself is testament to the fair’s dedication to Agriculture. Over $50-million has been invested to create an environment in which the State Fair showcases Nebraskans in 4-H, FFA and open class exhibition. Whether livestock or competitive exhibits, every citizen in our great state can be proud of having the finest State Fair facilities in the nation.

“What we do each year is borne out in our mission. To have interactive and educational experiences promoting families, fun and Nebraska pride. For instance, three days are now dedicated to Nebraska’s largest classroom when thousands of school agers from across our state are given free admittance to the fair to experience, to learn, and if they take home even a small portion of what they took in…it’s a good day for everybody,” McDermott said.

“While its true, we have family focused fun around every corner from concerts and entertainment to the finest carnival midway in the nation, when you boil down all the ingredients that make up the State Fair, agriculture remains at the center,” McDermott said, “something that’s been true for almost 150 years.”

The Nebraska State Fair runs from August 25 to September 4 in Grand Island.