Have a FAIR Summer
The summer experience many of us have been waiting for is finally here. Reunions, concerts, and weddings are in full swing, but there is one thing that I am really looking forward to this summer – fairs!
From showcasing agriculture, crafts, pies, and more, fairs have always brought Wisconsin communities together. This first Wisconsin State Fair took place in the 1851 and agriculture was the main feature. In the 1860s farm machinery exhibits were added and became a major attraction. Over the years many new attractions have come to the fairs like automobiles, sports, music, and more, but agriculture is where it all started.
County fairs are a place where many farmers, agri-businesses, and the community come together to celebrate. I enjoy the opportunity to advocate and promote fairs across Wisconsin as they are the place where everyone is able to learn about agriculture and farmers’ hard work is showcased and celebrated. Fairs have a unique way of making everyone feel welcome and involved, regardless of a person’s age or background. Many of Wisconsin fairs also work to highlight our state’s diverse agriculture which provides over $104.8 billion and more than 435,000 jobs.
For small business owners, the week of their local county is often one of their biggest weeks of income. County fair visitors come to the fair, but they also enjoy the hospitality of local small business. Sometimes, these businesses will even set up an area at the fair to serve their products.
Growing up, my summers were always filled with fairs and cow shows. I can remember the months leading up to fair season and working daily to train and prepare my animals for the fair. As an exhibitor, fairs were always hard work but they were also full of good food, fun times, and life lessons. One of my favorite parts of participating in my local county fair was being able to share my projects and passion for agriculture with friends and fairgoers and answer any of their questions.
As I travel to many fairs this season, I am looking forward to meeting young exhibitors and fair attendees, sharing my fair stories, and enjoying the delicious fair food. This summer, I encourage you to enjoy the many attractions that fairs have to offer, learn more about agriculture in your community, celebrate the hard work of exhibitors, and, of course, indulge in the abundance of fair foods. As you visit your local fair, don’t forget to celebrate National Ice Cream Month this July with an ice cream cone or chocolate shake.
County fairs are a great way to celebrate and show appreciation for the Wisconsin farmers and processors that work hard to provide safe, wholesome food to feed our families at the county fair and all year long. I am proud to represent the diverse agriculture community we have here in the great state of Wisconsin and I look forward to continue exploring Wisconsin agriculture as the 74th Alice in Dairyland.
Nunes is Wisconsin's 74th Alice in Dairyland