Never Stop Learning:Youth Improve Skills Through Livestock Clinics

An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. -Ben Franklin Have you ever watched a livestock show at the N.C. State Fair? Have you ever wondered how they learn how to show a massive cow or keep control of their pig? Let me tell you, there are lot of rules to follow and techniques to execute. Those showmen didn’t learn how to show overnight. Through the entire year, youth are constantly investing in their skills and knowledge regarding livestock. They are forever trying to learn, grow, and become better. One major opportunity they have is to participate in livestock…

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Livestock showmen receive N.C. State Fair scholarships

Youth who show livestock know the importance of being focused. They focus on making their animal look its best. They focus on the judge and catching their eye. These youth focus on the prize, on improvement and on the future shows, ribbons and animals. Livestock youth are also focused on their future careers and education. For many youth, just as much hard work goes into school work and grades as it does to prepare their animals for show. The N.C. State Fair Junior Livestock Educational Scholarship combines school, livestock, and future aspirations all into one. The scholarship program looks at…

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The State Fair Behind the Scenes: Meet the Intern

Hi all, I’m Summer, but you can call me Cliffhanger – nicknamed after my favorite ride at the State Fair. I am a rising senior at UNC-Charlotte studying Health Communications with a minor in Children’s Literature. I am currently in my second week of my summer internship. I am from Asheville, and grew up near the Biltmore Estate. Similarly to the State Fair, we have the N.C. Mountain State Fair. This fair is also run by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. It is much smaller but still just as much fun! As a child, teenager, and now…

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You’ve Got to Be at the Got to Be NC Festival This Weekend!

With more than 100 tractors, North Carolina food and beverages, music, a carnival and free kids’ activities, the Got to Be NC Festival is an event you don’t want to miss at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, May 17-19. “The antique tractor and farm equipment display, featuring a daily tractor parade, and the Food Lion Local Goodness Marketplace are two of the unique highlights of the festival,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “We have one of the largest antique tractor displays in the Southeast, and the marketplace features around 80 North Carolina companies offering the opportunity to sample the…

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The Life of a Ribbon After the Show

If you’ve ever shown livestock at the N.C. State Fair, you know that if you walk away with nothing else, you will leave with awesome memories and at least one ribbon. If you are like many livestock showman, you leave with several ribbons, because let’s be honest, many of us can’t show just one animal. I’d say it’s a problem we have, but I don’t think it really is a problem. And, if you are like a lot of livestock showman, you have ribbons that span years of livestock showing. I may or may not be talking about myself here….

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Youth Compete in the Round Robin Showmanship Invitational

After a long, yet exciting, two weeks of livestock shows, performances, fair food, rides, lights, fireworks, contests, and 977,256 people attending, the N.C. State Fair ended. For livestock show participants, there was definitely a sadness that the it was over, and also a bit of relief too. Perhaps now, they could relax a bit. It had been a long few days of competing for exhibitors, and even longer months preparing for the shows. However, for a select few youth, the competitions weren’t over. Even after the NC State Fair closes its gates, it still holds livestock judging and skillathon competitions…

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The Hand of the Buyer Extends Beyond the Stroke of a Check: NC State Fair Sale of Champions

On October 13th, a record was set in the state of North Carolina. The NC State Fair Sale of Champions brought in a record-breaking number of $190,000. Buyers bought champion goats, sheep, steers, and pigs exhibited by youth at the fair in the auction. Although many a check was stroked, the hand of the buyer goes far beyond that initial check. If a map of those affected by this Sale of Champions were created, there would be a web extending across the country. The hand of the buyer goes much farther than a raise for a bid or the stroke…

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What it’s really like working as an intern at the State Fair

As the year comes to a close, so does my time with the N.C. Department of Agriculture. I still have winter break to look forward to, but holiday treats just can’t compare to the seeing the joy of fairgoers munching on turkey legs and deep-fried pumpkin pie. My time as an intern has been unforgettable. Over the summer, I was thrilled to spend my days interviewing ice cream shop owners, beekeeping entrepreneurs, Montagnard staff members and competition winners. In fact, my favorite part about my daily work at the department was getting to meet so many different people that all…

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From Beijing to the N.C. State Fair

The following is a guest blog by Jade Wang, marketing manager for the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services China Office. Wang works with the international marketing division to promote North Carolina commodities and products to China. She visited the N.C. State Fair for the first time this year.  After a brief overview, we sent her out with a camera to explore the fair on her own. Read below for her perspective on the fair as a first-time and international visitor.    By Jade Wang:  From Beijing to the State Fair in North Carolina, the crowded scenes are probably hard…

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Extensive collection of plows and farm equipment donated to NCDA&CS

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has received a generous gift from the estate of John William “Bill” Turner: a large collection of antique plows and associated farm equipment. A portion of the collection has been on display in the Antique Farm Machinery barn at the State Fair, nestled among other rare and unique items. Bill Turner and his father, Sam, shared a love of the “tools of the earth.” Bill grew up at the foot of Cherry Mountain, in an old home with no electricity or running water. In an essay written in 2008, he described a…

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