KENTUCKY STATE FAIR OFFERS A CHANCE TO CELEBRATE KENTUCKY AGRICULTURE
By State Sen. Phillip Wheeler
Suppose you have ever visited the beautiful Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort. In that case, you probably remember the Rotunda, featuring a statue of President Abraham Lincoln and other famous Kentuckians, such as statesmen like Henry Clay and pioneers like Dr. Ephraim McDowell. If you look above them toward the inside of the Capitol dome, you will see four murals, each of which unites elements significant to Kentucky’s history.
The murals represent the Commonwealth’s Culture, such as music and dance, art, faith, law, and more; Industry, including our world-renowned bourbon industry, the state’s river and stream paddlewheel heritage, Kentuckians’ work ethic, and architecture; Civitas, or our shared civilization, progress, and strength; and finally, Nature, which naturally represents Kentucky’s rich agrarian foundations.
Kentucky’s agriculture industry is wide-reaching. It is the foundation from which our strong farming industry produces corn, soybeans, small grains, tobacco, and on which cattle, poultry, and equine graze. These each stock store shelves and freezers of Kentucky small businesses and fill tables of Kentucky families. Farmers in our Commonwealth provide goods far beyond the borders of our state. Products created locally can be identified by their “Kentucky Proud” logo.
Our agriculture industry will be on full display starting next Thursday, August 19, at the 2021 Kentucky State Fair. The fair is hosted at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville at 937 Phillips Lane.
The Kentucky State Fair has served as a celebration and display for the agriculture industry for well over a century. The first Kentucky State Fair was held all the way back in 1902, when, according to reporting by WHAS11 News from 2019, over 75,000 people attended and endured “ill” weather. In 1904, the fair was canceled after it had funds tied up in a lawsuit. Two other cancellations occurred in 1942 and 1943 at the height of World War II. That happened to state fairs nationwide as fuel, tires, and space were being conserved to support the war effort. Seventeen buildings at the fairgrounds were converted to house an ever-expanding requirement of Tube Turns for airplane and motor cylinder manufacturers.
As you can see, not only does Kentucky have a rich history of providing Kentucky Proud products and keeping bellies full, the history of our State Fair also includes providing direct assistance to the war efforts and defending freedom and liberty. This year’s state fair is an excellent opportunity to exercise our freedoms and support Kentucky agriculture. As your State Senator, I am proud to support our agriculture industry in the Kentucky General Assembly.
The State Fair will be hosting several legislative Interim Joint Committee (IJC) meetings. They include some on which I serve as a member, such as the IJCs on Local Government; State Government; Tourism, Small Business, and Information Technology; and the County Clerk Office Modernization Task Force. The meeting dates and times are as follows:
Tuesday, August 24
10 am: IJC on Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection
Wednesday, August 25
1 pm: Counter Clerk Office Modernization Task Force
3:30 pm: Capital Projects and Bond Oversight
Thursday, August 26
10 am: IJC on Agriculture
11 am: IJC on Local Government
1 pm: Joint meeting of the IJCs on Economic Development and Workforce Investment; and Tourism, Small Business, and Information Technology
2:30 pm: IJC on State Government
Committee meetings can be seen live at ket.org/legislature.
Following COVID-19’s impact on last year’s State Fair allowing for participants only and no members of the general public, I encourage you to help make this year’s Kentucky State Fair a glowing success. There is so much to do at the State Fair. It features rides; talent competitions; the World’s Championship Horse Show; animals, such as dairy and beef cattle, goats, mules, and sheep; and, of course, “AgLand,” which features 4-H programs, Future Farmers of America exhibits, and so much more.
Support Kentucky’s farmers and the agriculture industry while enjoying a great time with friends and family. You can find tickets by visiting kystatefair.org/tickets. We are grateful for the hard work and dedication of Kentucky’s farmers. Their talents are on full display during the Kentucky State Fair.
I hope you and your loved ones can enjoy a fun time at the Kentucky State Fair. Be safe. God bless.