Monday, July 6, 2009

Missouri’s Premier Agriculture Expo Offers New Appeal

The best in livestock, crops and farm machinery will be showcased at the annual Missouri State Fair August 13 to 23 in Sedalia along with a new focus that is expected to broaden the appeal of this premier agriculture expo making it a meaningful event for even more Missourians.

The message “Rural Lifestyles Showcase, country living is not just for farmers anymore!” is being promoted by the Fair this year in an effort to tap an audience of people seeking to incorporate more rural experiences into daily living.

Fair Director Mark Wolfe said, “Recent findings on market trends confirmed that the Fair could be more effective by expounding on demonstrations that offer how-to information on topics that visitors can take home and apply.”

In 2006, there were over 27 million households in America that participated in some form of rural lifestyle, according to a study conducted by the National Association of Farm Broadcasting, and that number continues to grow.

“Building superintendents along with other partners that spearhead exhibits were asked to cooperate in the new focus, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive,” Wolfe said.

Visitors to the Fair this year can expect to see a mix of unfailing traditional displays along side new and relevant exhibits.

First-time demonstrations in the Home Economics Building that Wolfe believes will be well received are classes titled Sensible Living Tips, Ultimate Couponing, Living a Frugal Lifestyle and On-line Shopping. Educator will be Alicia Myers who has been featured several times on her hometown news station KY 3 television in Springfield, Mo. Typically, Myers charges for these services, but will be providing free crash courses to this year’s fairgoers.

The Agriculture Building, overseen during the Fair by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, will offer a stage sponsored by Sprint WL this year to accommodate new demonstrations that also conform to the Rural Lifestyles Showcase agenda. Among the stage presenters will be Master Chefs from across the state preparing delicious meals using foods found at Farmers’ Markets.

“The Farmers’ Market in the Agriculture Building was a huge success last year and will be back again,” Wolfe said. “The new cooking shows from regional chefs this year will provide fairgoers with tips that they can take home and apply in their own kitchens.”

Additional topics in the expo will include art instruction from professionals in pottery, photography and sculpture, as well as tips from experts in landscaping, gardening and going green.

A complete list of subjects available in the Showcase is on the Fair’s Website to help visitors explore the expo in advance. Valuable features soon to be added to the site include building schedules and vendor lists that can be printed or picked up at information booths during the 11-day event.

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 is the largest expo in Missouri situated on 396 acres and home to 15 buildings, of which most are air conditioned and handicap accessible. Approximately 320,000 people visit annually.

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