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 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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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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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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A love affair

What keeps Gail and Grant Simons at the Root Beer Cart coming back for their 32nd year at the N.C. State Fair? It’s a true love affair. “We love fairs, we love people and these are our friends,” Grant says. “That’s as good a reason as any to keep coming back every year.” Celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, the dynamic duo is still at it, serving their famous root beer out of their red and white striped tent all over the east coast. “We start in July and go to six fairs in New York,” Gail said. “Then, we slowly…

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