Monday, July 20, 2009

Missouri State Fair Will Bring Local Produce from the Farm to the Fork

Fairgoers can acquire a taste for Missouri as Master Chefs turn local foods into delicious dishes during the Missouri State Fair’s Rural Lifestyles Showcase August 13 to 23 in Sedalia.

Lane McConnell, Missouri Department of Agriculture Marketing and Local Foods Program Manager, is especially excited about the 1st Annual Missouri Local Foods Cooking Demonstrations.

“Visitors will not only have the opportunity to learn about local foods and taste more than nine varieties of tomatoes,” McConnell said, “but they can watch and learn how to prepare fresh recipes on the new Local Foods Cooking Stage, sponsored by Sprint WL, in the Agriculture Building.”

“Chefs from around the state will conduct daily cooking demonstrations centered on using local foods and simple fresh ingredients,” McConnell said.

The cooking demonstrations will last about one hour between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day of the Fair. An online schedule will be available soon.

Returning to the Agriculture Building will be the Farmers’ Market where fairgoers can purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables, and ask industry experts questions about getting involved in this business.

“The Missouri State Fair Farmers’ Market will be a terrific family-stop for visitors to the fairgrounds this year,” McConnell stated. “Other new events will be kids’ activities and a mini farmers’ market every other day in the campground.”

State Master Gardeners will also be available to answer lawn and garden questions and provide consumer information on growing small to large gardens.

The Agriculture Building, supervised during the Fair by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, is embracing the new Rural Lifestyles Showcase as a way to help the public incorporate agriculture-related experiences into daily living. The building is air conditioned and will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. August 13 to 22 and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. August 23.

Additional topics available in the Showcase can be found online. Soon to be added to the site are building schedules and vendor lists.

The Showcase is included with Fair admission. A regular adult admission ticket is $8, senior is $6 and children 12 and under are free. Parking is also free. Regular adult tickets can be purchased in advance for a savings of $2 now through August 12 from Break Times, O’Reilly Auto Parts and Orscheln Farm and Homes across the state.

Break Times are also selling an Unlimited Daily Spin Deal ticket for $27, which is a combined offer of one day admission and one day unlimited carnival ride wristband. It is available now through August 23.

The State Fair will be “MOre Fun Than Ever!” with its new focus on country living and its dedication to affordable family entertainment. Visit the Web site for schedules and special promotions.

(Press release couresty of Missouri State Fair)

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