IFB plans fun, advocacy at Illinois State Fair

IDOA tent stage gains activities. Read about some of the highlights.

Illinois agriculture will highlight vitality and success for urban and rural Illinois State Fair visitors Aug. 9-19. Illinois Farm Bureau plans to inform, honor and celebrate agriculture in Springfield.

Located at the southwest corner of Main Street and Central Avenue, and north of the Exposition Building, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) tent stage gains new prominence this year. The stage will serve as the location for activities previously found on the Farm Bureau stage in the Commodities Pavilion.

Starting today and Thursday before the fair and continuing through Friday, IFB will distribute Farm Bureau T-shirts to junior livestock exhibitors near the Junior Livestock Building. The master youth showmanship contest concludes festivities Friday, starting at 7 p.m. in the Junior Livestock Building.

Illinois Specialty Growers will serve fair visitors new ideas and recipes along with fresh, Illinois-grown food in the IDOA tent. Daily specials will highlight a different specialty grower, a crop grown on that farm, recipe cards and a short cooking demonstration. Taste samples will be offered to the first 100 audience members.

Illinois State Fair Preview:

- Exhibit compares modern equipment with antique counterparts. Read more here.

- New manager hopes you notice new improvements in addition to mainstays. Read more here.   

The specialty cooking stage demonstrations will be Friday, 2 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11:30 a.m.; Monday, 2 p.m.; Tuesday, noon; Aug 15 and 16, 2 p.m.; Aug. 17, 11 a.m.; Aug. 18, 10:30 a.m.; and Aug. 19, 11:30 a.m.

At the Specialty Growers’ area, fair visitors again may buy fresh sweet corn, watermelons, cantaloupes, peaches, tomatoes, cider slushes and a daily featured crop – all produced by Specialty Grower members. Fairgoers also may buy ice cream and popcorn.    

On Friday, Monday and Tuesday, the RFD Radio Network® will broadcast live from 9 to 10 a.m. from the IDOA media tent. COUNTRY-sponsored “Town & Country Partners” radio show will broadcast live from 2:30 to 3 p.m. in the IDOA auditorium.   

Ag Day starts Aug. 14 with the IFB Young Leader Agri-Quiz Bowl with teams of county Farm Bureau Young leaders testing their knowledge. The event starts at 8 a.m. on the stage of the Illinois Building. The final round is expected to start about 4:30 p.m.

Ag Day festivities continue in the Orr Building with a program and award presentations starting at 9:30 a.m.

At 1 p.m., the 2018 state winners of the IFB Young Leader Achievement and the Excellence in Ag Awards will be recognized on the stage in the IDOA tent.

A traditional Ag Day event, the governor’s sale of grand champions will start at 5 p.m. in the Livestock Center.