Agriculture will be front and center for ten days during the Kansas State Fair Sept. 11-20 in Hutchinson. The fair, which provides an opportunity for all Kansans to experience and learn about the state’s largest economic driver, will also have hundreds of unique food vendors as well as shows and entertainment for all ages. The Kansas Department of Agriculture will have a strong presence at the State Fair as KDA staff members will be assisting with a variety of duties and activities ranging from animal health, food safety, emergency management, and agriculture education and advocacy.
“KDA seeks to broaden the understanding and appreciation of agriculture and its economic contribution amongst Kansans during the State Fair,” said Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey. “The fair gives us the opportunity to support our state’s largest industry and showcase the many ways our staff works to promote agriculture and protect Kansans.”
Monday, Sept. 14 is Preparedness Day in Kansas. KDA and other public service organizations will have a display in front of the Administration building on the fairgrounds. Fire trucks and response vehicles will be on display and demonstrations will be performed by a search and rescue dog. In addition to attending a demonstration, fairgoers can also take home materials regarding preparation for emergencies, animal diseases and drought preparedness.
With thousands of livestock at the fair for shows, KDA’s Division of Animal Health will provide biosecurity services to livestock exhibitors by checking Certificates of Veterinary Inspections on all species before they enter the grounds. Exhibitors are required to present inspection forms to help ensure the safety of other animals and exhibitors. Daily check-in hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The KDA team will also assist with sheep and goats check-ins, monitoring for the presence of Club Lamb Fungus at the 4-H, FFA and open class weigh-in stations.
From the Land of Kansas, the state’s agricultural trademark program, will also be at the State Fair. Kansans visiting the From the Land of Kansas booth, located in the Pride of Kansas building, can shop, eat and explore Kansas products. From the Land of Kansas’ brand ambassador, Chef Alli will give live cooking demonstrations on both weekends of the fair featuring trademark member ingredients. Visitors will be able to taste her recipes and purchase Kansas products at the booth. From the Land of Kansas member companies that will have products at the booth include Cashmere Popcorn, Topeka; Fine Vines Artisanal Ketchup, Leawood; Grandma Hoerner’s, Alma; Hildebrand Farms Dairy, Junction City; Jose Pepper’s, Overland Park; Prairie Harvest Market, Newton; Thrill’s Kettle Corn, Burlingame; and Tonja’s Toffee, Modoc.
The KDA Food Safety and Lodging Program also has a large presence at the fair. During the first two days of the fair, KDA food safety staff inspect the approximately 130 food vendors, making sure each vendor has proper licenses and is in compliance with Kansas food laws. Additionally, KDA food safety personnel will work with vendors to ensure food preparation areas are clean, food is prepared and stored safely, and workers follow proper food handling guidelines. Multiple inspectors will be present each day of the fair as well to provide assistance to vendors or answer any questions that may arise.
Other KDA activities at the fair include attending the State Conservation Commission board meeting and the Kansas Association of Conservation Districts board meeting and advocating for agriculture in Agriland and at the 10th Annual Grape Stomp.
For more information about the Kansas State Fair, visit https://kansasstatefair.com/.