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,…

Continue Reading

Showing Livestock in a Pandemic: Going Virtual

Under normal circumstances, youth all over the state would be wrapping up their spring shows. This year, things look quite a bit different, leaving many youth disappointed. Because of the COVID-19 situation, counties all over made the difficult decision to cancel spring livestock shows. Many of these shows have been going strong for 80 plus years, so having to cancel was more than disappointing for youth signed up to compete in 2020, but it was also disappointing for alumni and communities that are historically involved. Much like the NC State Fair livestock shows, the spring shows bring people together—communities, businesses,…

Continue Reading

10 Ways Agriculture Grows Youth

This week, during National Agriculture Week, we celebrate food, fiber, fuel, and the individuals who grow and produce it. When we think of agriculture, tractors, livestock, crops, food, barns, and soil are among the images that pop into our heads. We think of farmers and the many hours they put into growing and producing food and products. However, agriculture goes beyond food, fiber, and fuel. There is so much more meaning behind the images of cows, plows, and sows. For youth involved in agriculture, it means so much more. Agriculture grows more than corn and livestock, it grows youth. For…

Continue Reading

More Than 100 Youths Compete in Judging in January Livestock Judging Contest

Judging in January was held on January 25th in Raleigh and hosted by the NC Junior Hereford Association. More than a 100 youth competed in the livestock judging contest held annually. Youth judged cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs. They also gave reasons, and, for those who were beginners, a reasons clinic was held. Livestock judging events and competitions are held throughout the year for youth to compete in across North Carolina and even nationally. Every workshop and competition help youth not only become better at judging livestock, but builds life skills and character that last a lifetime. Judging livestock is…

Continue Reading

The Heart of a Showman

In honor of Valentine’s Day, a day reserved for love and filled with heart, here is a peak into the love and heart of a showman. Look past the boots, past the show shirts, past the belt buckles. Look beyond the goat, pig, cow, sheep, or turkey. Look closely. There you will see the heart of the showman. We want our kids to be genuinely good people. People that care, think, and work hard. We want our kids to grow up and be leaders for the future. This is probably one thing, at least, we can all agree on. While…

Continue Reading

Purchase from Farrell Farms & impact future generations

One North Carolina business in the Got to Be N.C. tent at the N.C. State Fair is helping make lives better for kids in Bolivia. Proceeds from the sale of their pecans, peanuts and snack mixes support their efforts at the KW Methodist Children’s Home in La Paz, Bolivia. Thirteen thousand feet up in the Andes Mountains, kids in Bolivia suffer from homelessness, cold and hunger. “Most kids live in situations where they have been abused and abandoned,” says Frank Farrell, “and come from homes where drug and alcohol abuse are prevalent.” According to Farrell, these children get up early…

Continue Reading

East Coast or West Coast: Caricature options range from a Raleigh local to The California Boys at the fair

One thing you may want to add to your State Fair to-do list is a caricature. It’s one of those things you may not think of at first, but getting a caricature done can be pretty fun, and then you have a nice souvenir to remind you of the fair. Artist Nick Tabron told me he sees some people make it an annual tradition. It’s one of the reasons he’s been coming every year since 1996 or ’97. (It’s hard to remember when you’ve been doing it so long.) “I enjoy it,” he said. “I have repeat customers who come…

Continue Reading

“Field of Dreams” gets to the foundation of food

The “Field of Dreams” has been part of the N.C. State Fair since 2004, but when I visited this year, I found a few folks who somehow had never seen it. I was pretty sad to hear that because the exhibit gets at the heart of what the fair is about. While the fair used to be about showcasing and sharing agricultural practices and equipment amongst farmers (or at least people familiar with farming), it’s now more about a few agricultural folks sharing with the general non-farming public. That’s exactly what “Field of Dreams” does. In a plot of land…

Continue Reading

Every pumpkin has a story

Cindy Perkins teaches exceptional students at Grady Brown Elementary in Hillsborough. Part of their classroom learning is tending to a student garden. The class of seven has grown corn, squash, tomatoes, mums and pumpkins. Since all of Perkins students function at different levels, they have different jobs in the garden. Like watering and pulling weeds, and get excited about seeing the garden grow. “The students enjoy the garden,” Perkins said. “They look forward to completing assignments so they can have garden time.” The class monitored and watched the pumpkins grown and finally chose two to be pulled from the garden….

Continue Reading

Six inducted into Livestock Hall of Fame

While many know the North Carolina State Fair is known for its food, rides and music, agriculture has always been the driving force behind all the things that fairgoers enjoy. On Sunday, the fair honored several men who have made substantial contributions to agriculture in North Carolina, as Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler inducted the six newest members of the State Fair Livestock Hall of Fame. Frank Hollowell of Hurdle Mills, Sammy Jenkins of Apex, David Lee of Zebulon, Freddie O’Neal of South Mills, the late Carm Parkhurst of Castalia and Larry Wooten of Raleigh were all inducted in a ceremony…

Continue Reading