New Competitions Announced for 2021 State Fair

Decorated Christmas Trees, painted rocks and stuffed sock toys! Those are just a few examples of the new competitions coming to this year’s state fair. After a year with no fair, these exciting new competitions will prove to have been worth the wait! This year’s new competitions were created in an effort to encourage competition entries as these simpler projects can be completed within weeks rather than some projects that can take a whole year. No matter your age, skill level or interests, there is bound to be a competition for you!  “Our hope is that these sorts of categories…

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Changes to 2021 Youth Livestock Shows

Although the State Fair had to be canceled last year, the Youth Livestock Shows were fortunately still able to go on. The shows are continuing this year, however, they will still not be operating in their pre-pandemic state as was hoped. Because of the financial hit these shows took when revenue was not generated by the 2020 State Fair or other events held at the fairgrounds, some changes will have to be implemented to keep the show going. Below is a list of some of this year’s major changes: The schedule will be much more spread out, allowing species to…

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Twenty-Six Students Receive N.C. State Fair Livestock Scholarship

For these twenty-six students, their participation in junior livestock shows at the N.C. State Fair is now aiding them in their higher educational pursuits. Twenty-six high school students have received the 2021 N.C. State Fair Youth Livestock Scholarship. The scholarship is specifically for high school seniors or students currently enrolled in an institute of higher education who have participated in the junior livestock or market turkey shows at the N.C. State Fair. Twenty-five of the scholarships were worth $1000, and the remaining one was worth $1500 and was paid for by Farm Credit of North Carolina. Applicants were evaluated based on…

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Meet Blue Ribbon

Hey y’all! My name is Christa Dutton, but you can call me Blue Ribbon, a much more fun nickname. I just finished my freshman year at Wake Forest University (Go deacs!). I am planning to major in Communication with minors in Entrepreneurship and Journalism. I am a North Carolina girl through and through. I was born and raised in Knightdale, which is about 15 miles from the capital city of Raleigh, where I attended high school and spent a lot of my time growing up. I chose Blue Ribbon as my blogger alias because one of my favorite parts of…

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2020 Horse Show spotlight: a dressage surprise

Jenna Smith has been riding horses on-and-off since she was about 12 years old. Now at age 23, she continues to find surprises – like the pleasant surprise to hear the N.C. State Fair Horse Shows would continue this year even if the fair did not. Her championship ribbon from the Oct. 23-25 show was a pretty nice surprise too. “Overall I think it went really well. We had some things we definitely could have improved on, but I acknowledge that I could have improved on it, so I wasn’t frustrated with whatever placing we got,” Smith said after racking…

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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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Grabbing a Mask and Showing Cattle

“Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.” The goal was to give youth opportunities to show their cattle in the midst of the pandemic. In order to meet that goal, everyone had to be flexible and willing to do things a bit differently. The North Carolina Junior Beef Roundup is an annual event that many cattle families look forward to. It is a tradition that centers around family, fun, and cattle. It is a time to catch up with old friends and show off prized cattle. It’s a place to where conversations revolve around the cattle industry…

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Jumping for the blue: Inside the ring of the Hunter Jumper horse shows at the N.C. State Fairgrounds

In the hunter jumper world, the common phrase “going for the gold” transforms to “jumping for the blue,” as in the coveted first place ribbon. Every year farms from around the state bring their best horses and riders to compete in the Hunter Jumper shows and derby at the N.C. State Fairgrounds. Hunter jumping is a style of English horseback riding where both horse and rider are judged on accuracy, form, consistency and demeanor while performing a series of jump courses. “So much of horseback riding is mental and both parties affect the other, meaning the horse affects the rider…

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Roots in Family & Cattle Help Lynae Bowman Soar

With a car packed from floor to ceiling, the Bowman family left Stokes County for Oklahoma. Lynae Bowman was starting her first year of college at Redlands Community College in El Reno, and her parents were helping her move in and start a new chapter in life. Aptly, though, her parents didn’t leave her at college. They left her at a cattle sale a few miles from the school. Lynae’s mom, April, said, “she’s in her element.” Lynae Bowman has a passion for cattle. She’s been showing them at the NC State Fair and across the country since she was…

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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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