Making the Best of a Situation: Livestock Scholarship Recipients Share their COVID-19 College Experiences

“We took a lot of change in a short amount of time, but it is what it is and we just have to make the best of it.”—Zachery Keeter, NCSU freshman and 2020 NC State Fair Youth Livestock Scholarship Recipient Despite precautions and efforts, colleges and universities across the country have had to close their doors to in-person classes. Headlines have often covered the numbers, logistics, and causes. However, there is another story that should be told. That of the student who is having to adapt, pivot, and navigate college in a pandemic. Students are facing challenges ranging from social…

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The Greatest Gift of the NC State Fair: The Memories

In less than a month, youth from across the state will be able to do what they always have, albeit a bit different. In less than a month, livestock trailers will pull in to the NC State Fairgrounds to compete in another year of shows. Goats, cattle, pigs, sheep and turkeys will all make an appearance with some very eager youth. Masks will be plentiful and distance will abound, but the show will go on, thanks to the dedication and hard work of many. Because of their efforts, youth from across the state will be able to make memories yet…

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The toughest decision: canceling the 2020 N.C. State Fair

When we started planning for this year’s State Fair last November, no one would have guessed what the next few months would bring. We’ve been monitoring the guidelines from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. We’ve thought through how we could hold a Fair in October and stay true to what has always been our ultimate goal: a safe and entertaining event for families to enjoy. We’ve hoped our state’s numbers would turn around. We’ve hoped for the health of our friends and families as we see so many struggling. We’ve hoped we’d find a way to…

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Giants among us: What it takes to grow giant fruits

The N.C. State Fair showcases a variety of fruits and vegetables from across the state each year. The stars of the show; however, are the giant pumpkins and watermelons.  Brandon Huber, a North Carolina State University doctoral student, has always been fascinated by plants, especially those that can grow really large. The Philadelphia native has grown competition-quality giant pumpkins for ten years now, adding watermelons to his agenda once moving to North Carolina. Over the years, Huber has managed to produce several impressive giants. Huber’s largest pumpkin weighed in at 667 pounds, while his largest watermelon was 170 pounds. Huber’s…

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The Show Must Go On

For months, life has been uncertain. COVID-19 (we’d all be fine never hearing that word again) has wreaked havoc on our world. In many ways, we have come to expect events to be canceled and life to be anything but normal. For many of us, it is just easier not to hope. That’s not to say all hope is gone. When it comes to the livestock show community, hope abounds. Even before the N.C. State Fair announced that they intended “to offer a modified livestock show program for junior competitors” and encouraged “youth livestock exhibitors to continue working with their…

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Fair food for the family

The Beaver family has actively been serving N.C. State Fair goers for about 50 years now. Their business, Old Style Foods, can typically be found at many fairs across the southeastern United States. In the wake of COVID-19, the Salisbury natives wanted to find a way to continue serving their North Carolinian supporters in a safe manner. Troy Beaver, the grandson of Old Style Food’s founder, said his father, Jeff, was eager to implement this project after seeing it done successfully elsewhere. “My dad had a friend who did a similar event in New York at the state fairgrounds there,…

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Cleanup with Casey

Wondering what’s been going on at the fairgrounds? Look no further, Casey Cardinal and his friend, Assistant Fair Manager James Romer, gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the renovations taking place at the fairgrounds. Due to COVID-19, nearly 200 scheduled events at the fairgrounds have been canceled so far this year.  With extra time on his hands, Romer has been busy with N.C. State Fairgrounds staff improving the grounds in preparation for the 2020 N.C. State Fair. The fairgrounds crew have checked many things off their to-do list so far, like spreading mulch, painting, repairing livestock pens, and pruning and…

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Introducing… Caramel Apple

Hello, my fellow fair fans! My name is Emily, but I have chosen Caramel Apple as my fair name. I am so excited to be joining the N.C. State Fair team as an intern this summer! A Tar Heel born and bred, it was only right for me to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; I am a rising senior there, majoring in journalism. I have always wanted to have a blog of my own, so I couldn’t be more excited to share a little bit about myself via the Deep Fried blog. As my home state,…

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