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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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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Mythical creatures spotted

First it started with our new foods – unicorn bacon and unicorn apples. Then, we saw a few unicorns in our horticultural entries. Next, the midway was full of the colorful and mythical creatures. Finally, even our fairgoers were catching on to the trend. This was all the proof we needed – the 2018 N.C. State Fair is a magical place!  

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Gardens are a family tradition for Natasha Teasley

Walking through the Flower and Garden Show at this year’s fair, you’ll see a garden proudly displaying three ribbons. Natasha Teasley of Durham won the blue ribbon in the “Fall Beauty” garden category, the Arthur K. Pitzer award for best blue ribbon garden entry and the Commissioner’s Choice Award, given by Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. Her garden features fall colors, such as plants with oranges, reds and yellows. It was judged based on creativity, quality of construction, plant materials, color harmony, textural contrast, landscape design, graphics and labeling. Teasley has been helping with gardens in the N.C. State Fair flower…

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Gaston teen prom dress designer wins first place at the fair

Forget Giovanni and Vera Wang – 18-year old April Moore spent 10 days designing her own dress to sport at the Forestview High School prom in Gastonia. Moore is now a freshman at the University of Florida studying costume design. But just a few months before moving into her dorm room down south, she was stitching the finishing touches on her handmade dress. “I wanted to challenge myself,” she said. “I would say I probably spent about 20 to 30 hours on this dress.” Little did she know that it would go on to win first place in the fancy dress…

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Pirates, Germans and the story of N.C. barbecue

Each year, the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources sets up an exhibit in the north lobby of Dorton Arena to educate us about part of our state’s incredible history. From North Carolinians’ involvement in World War I to the history of pirates on our coast, we’ve learned some pretty cool things about our state. This year, they are bringing us “The Story of BBQ in NC.” If you’re new to our state, you might think we’re a little crazy for our barbecue obsession, like our ongoing Eastern- versus Western-style debates. But barbecue runs in our veins like…

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Beth Woody celebrates 50 years in the Village of Yesteryear

Since 1969, Beth Woody of Hillsborough has spent her time at the N.C. State Fair as part of the Village of Yesteryear. Mary Cornwell, the first superintendent of the Village of Yesteryear, invited her to participate in the Village and demonstrate how to make Christmas decorations. Since then, Woody has been involved in making and demonstrating many crafts, such as sculptured paper lamp shades, cold water lye soap and kaleidoscopes. Her first love is marquetry, which she was introduced 40 years ago. “I first saw marquetry from Thayer Frances, another crafter in the Village of Yesteryear. We talked about marquetry…

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Kachunga & the Alligator make a splash here at the fair

All the way from Florida, Kachunga, an alligator expert and “American Bushman,” came to wow fairgoers at the N.C. State Fair.  The show includes two alligator experts and of course, a feisty 7-foot alligator. Kachunga and the Alligator have been traveling across the country for the last 15 years to educate and entertain audiences about these cold-blooded creatures. The educational yet comical show presents exactly how and why alligators react to humans and other wildlife the way that they do. Kachunga explained that “alligators use their long tails as a weapon or defense because of how heavy and strong it…

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Pack Pullers’ tractor on display at N.C. State Fair

Visit the Antique Farm Machinery barn near the Village of Yesteryear, and you’ll see a tractor that stands out from many of the historic pieces. North Carolina State University’s Pack Pullers tractor is on display, and it’s a shining example of modern engineering. Pack Pullers has developed the tractor to compete in an engineering contest that helps prepare students for workplace challenges by providing real-world engineering practice. Students learn technical and professional skills and gain hands-on design experience through the development of sophisticated pulling technology. Each team is provided a 31-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine and a set of Titan…

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