Kentucky Farm Bureau at the Kentucky State Fair

By: Becky Kinder

Becky Kinder is the Education Director for the Kentucky Soybean Board and a member of KFB's 2015-16 LEAD class.

Becky Kinder is the Education Director for the Kentucky Soybean Board and a member of KFB’s 2015-16 LEAD class.

The 2015 Kentucky State Fair is officially in the books! By all accounts it looks as if this could be a record breaking year; with great activities, concerts and weather. It was a state fair that dreams could be made of. Each year nearly 600,000 people attend the event making it the state’s largest summertime attraction according to the state fair website. All in all, the state fair brings the best of the best to the center stage and allows for the rest of Kentucky the opportunity to take part in the success of other Kentuckians. As you should expect, Kentucky Farm Bureau plays a large role supporting and participating throughout the entire event.

As you enter into the fairgrounds you are welcomed by Freddy Farm Bureau, a farmer that is 18 feet tall. This year he actually got new shoes, which was a major talking point for many fairgoers. A couple of years ago it was his new shirt, so he likes to keep us on our toes. While attending the fair it’s a great idea to have a picture with Freddy like the 2015-2016 LEAD class did. To keep informed, you can even follow his Facebook page.

Once inside one of the many air conditioned buildings you will see the bright yellow informational booths that are sponsored by Kentucky Farm Bureau. There you can get your official state fair pin, map and schedule of the day to plan your time at the fair. These bright yellow booths are like beacons of hope as you walk over the course of the fairgrounds leading you in the right direction, just as our local offices do across the state. To be honest the size of the fair can be just a bit overwhelming as you try to find something in particular. So it’s nice to know a friend is right around the corner.

The Kentucky Commodity breakfast is the official kickoff for the state fair. Each year all the commodity groups come together to celebrate another year and are excited to see what the fair holds. During the commodity breakfast a winning 4-H country ham is auctioned with the money going to scholarships. Kentucky Farm Bureau took the winning bid. Kentucky Farm Bureau is a huge sponsor of today’s youth and it shows as they are sponsors throughout the fair a the following events; the commodity breakfast 4-H Ham auction, Cloverville the 4-H exhibit area, and the Sale of Champions for KY FFA and 4-H.

The Kentucky Farm Bureau is a major sponsor of many events that take place at the state fair. One of them that you may be more familiar with is the “Pride of Counties.” This area takes place in the South Wing and allows Kentucky counties to showcase something special for rest of us to see. Countless hours of work goes into designing and setting up the booth spaces. One county each year is awarded the “Best Exhibit Around” award. This year the award went to the London-Laurel County booth. Congratulations on a job well done.

However, one of the most well known events during Kentucky Farm Bureau day at the state fair is the Ham Breakfast. This event is a place where rural and cities lives merge to raise money for a great charity. Of course there is a little politicking as well, but all in all it’s about helping the winning bidder’s charity. The winning ham this year brought $400,000.

This year I was honored to attend the breakfast with my fellow Leadership Enhancement for Agriculture Development (LEAD) classmates. Mr. Mark Haney took the time to recognize our class amongst the many other duties he had while presiding over the event.  This also allowed us as a class to meet and speak with agriculture leaders from across the state.

Later that morning the Kentucky Farm Bureau hosted the Gospel Quartet Contest in which we got listen to the state champion at the picnic held later that afternoon. This year’s champion group was sponsored by the Fayette County FB Office. They did an outstanding job performing.

As a state fair attendee it is obvious that Kentucky Farm Bureau is there for all Kentuckians, rural and urban residents alike, by their dedication and commitment to the Kentucky State Fair. Like the commercials, Kentucky Farm Bureau stands behind their motto, “Big on Commitment.”

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