Recent Op-Eds

Fair Season is Upon Us

By: Senator John Thune

August 6, 2010

August has arrived, and that means South Dakota fair season has officially begun. The end of summer will soon usher in county fairs, the State Fair, or one last camping trip or vacation for many South Dakota families.

The exhibits, fair food, rides, music, races, rodeos, and games offer a wide variety of recreation and education for a large cross section of South Dakotans. I know that I can't visit the State Fair without stopping at the Pork Producers or the Cattlemen's booth for a sandwich. We all have such fond memories of our time spent at the fair that it is hard to imagine a summer without it.

In addition to the fun South Dakota fairs provide, they also generate numerous educational opportunities, many of which help to develop character in our youth. FFA and 4-H students are able to show the farm animals they raised and nurtured in the months leading up to the fair. Children learn the value of commitment and responsibility, and have the opportunity to take home a ribbon or trophy for best in show.

Many fairs across our state also provide education booths in which students of all ages get hands-on opportunities to learn more about science, technology, and new products for the farm and the home.

So whether you're attending the Turner County Fair, the Brown County Fair, the Central States Fair, the South Dakota State Fair, or any event in between, be sure to get your hands on a funnel cake, stop by the exhibition hall, encourage the kids showing off their animals, and take advantage of all that the fair has to offer. It is a great way to end the summer together as a family.