Rural Missouri Magazine

Let's all go to the fair

by Barry Hart

by Barry Hart

My earliest memories of the Missouri State Fair are of walking along the midway and inhaling the sweet smell of fair food. I lived in Braymer at the time and all of my friends were regulars at the fair, showing their cattle and exhibiting carefully crafted 4-H projects.

Later in life I had the opportunity to present the silver tea service that was the award for the fair’s grand champion mule when that award was presented by Missouri’s electric cooperatives.

Now that I am again a resident of the great state of Missouri I look forward to attending the fair once again, this time from the air-conditioned comfort of the Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives Building, I’ll be attending with my good friend Jerry Divin, who just happens to be manager of Southwest Electric Cooperative, president of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives board and chairman of the State Fair Commission.

If you haven’t experienced the Missouri State Fair before you don’t know what you are missing. Chairman Divin tells me this year’s fair should be the best ever. Now in its 102nd year, the state fair continues to be the showcase of all things agriculture and more. Here you will find the state’s largest watermelon and pumpkin, with the winners honored by a plaque and prize money from our own statewide publication Rural Missouri.

You will be amazed at the wonders on display, from a massive steam engine put out to pasture at the fairgrounds to the magnificent catfish and bass that stare back from the aquariums in the Conservation Department’s building. Veteran fairgoers from Missouri’s electric cooperatives tell us the food rivals some of the best restaurants in the state.

That’s because Missouri’s cattlemen, pork producers and poultry farmers want to show off their products in the best way possible.

While you are at the fair be sure you stop by to see us at the Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives Building. Each day of the fair it will be staffed by your neighbors who work at electric cooperatives from across the state. It’s a good place to learn about new programs the cooperatives have or just a great place to cool off and relax.

Parents will like the Just4Kids area put together by the Rural Missouri staff. Kids will want to get their pictures taken with our mascot Buddy Bear. Another highlight of the fair will be the Touchstone Energy hot air balloon.

From the early days of rural electrification in Missouri to the present, the Missouri State Fair and electric cooperatives have been a natural fit. We are proud to be among the supporters of the Missouri State Fair. Here’s hoping our paths cross at the state fair, Aug. 12-22.

Hart is executive vice president of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.

E-mail Barry Hart


Rural Missouri | June 2020 Issue

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