Recent Op-Eds

Sounds from the Midway

August 8, 2014

I can always tell it is fair season in South Dakota when the smell of funnel cakes mixes with the sounds of summer concerts coming from the grandstand or cheers from the crowd at the rodeo. Fairs are time honored traditions in South Dakota with events that bring together young and old from across the state for competitions, entertainment, games, and of course, food. 

I always enjoy interacting with a wide cross-section of our state’s residents at the fairs. As some of our state’s most anticipated agriculture events, the fairs provide an opportunity to interact with our agriculture producers, sharing their insights and concerns for me to take back to Washington.  I also get a chance to see those stopping by the exhibit hall and families out enjoying entertainment around the Midway before taking in the evening concert. There is truly something for everyone at the fairs. I know that I can't visit the State Fair without stopping at the Pork Producers or the Cattlemen's booth for a sandwich.

There are a number of educational opportunities for young people to exhibit the items they’ve produced and crafted over months of hard work and show the animals they have carefully raised in the months leading up to the fair. When they aren’t competing, many of the young people will take a ride or two, pick up a yard stick, or play a few games.

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. Many enjoy listening to speakers, watching the daytime entertainment, or taking in an election year debate.

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.