Popular agriculture exhibits in the Harvest Landing area include a row crop plot where fairgoers can see Virginia cash crops like corn, cotton, peanuts, soybeans and tobacco. Each day, fairgoers can ask agriculture-related questions from farmer volunteers at the Ask-a-Farmer station near the crop plot.
Young MacDonald’s Farm, presented by Farm Credit, is a perennial family favorite that features farm animals and the iconic chick incubator and baby duck slide. Nearby is the Southland Dairy Pavilion, where visitors can try hand-milking cows and witness calf births. Another favorite is the Pumpkin and Watermelon Weigh-Off, which will take place at noon on Sept. 28 in the Blue Ribbon Tent in Harvest Landing.
At Virginia Farm Bureau’s booth in the Meadow Pavilion, fairgoers can use virtual reality glasses to experience farm surroundings up close. There also will be an outdoor display that features a corn box for children and the opportunity to explore a tractor.
Agriculture is the primary focus of activities in the fair’s Livestock Loop south of state Route 30, the location for the fair’s livestock and equine shows.
Livestock exhibitors will show beef and dairy cattle, dairy and meat goats, sheep and swine. On the evening of Oct. 5, the Sale of Champions fundraiser for the fair’s scholarship program will recognize youth exhibitors of the grand champion and reserve grand champion market steers, hogs, lambs and goats.
The American Milking Devon Mid-Atlantic Regional Show returns on Sept. 30. Milking Devon cattle first arrived in North America from England in the 1620s. Devon cows’ milk is prized for making butter and cheese.
Equine events will include cowboy mounted shooting, a draft horse and mule show and pull, youth barrel racing and high school rodeo.
Local foods will be available for purchase on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at the State Fair farmers market outside the Ticket Plaza. Virginia’s Finest Sundays will feature products made by Virginians, with many featuring items grown in the commonwealth.
A full fair schedule and ticket information are available at StateFairVa.org.
–Virginia Farm Bureau Federation