FAILEA — The 97th annual State Fair of West Virginia kicks off August 11, and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) will play a big part in the 10-day event. From the livestock shows to the dairy birthing center, the Produce Safety Trailer to the West Virginia Country Store, agriculture is at the heart of the State Fair.
“The State Fair is a reminder of the proud place agriculture has in the history of our State. But it also shows how important agriculture is to the security and health of our citizens today,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “As we continue to face rising inflation, supply chain issues, recover from a pandemic and experience higher energy prices, we as a State must embrace and celebrate our agricultural industries and its farmers.”
The West Virginia Country Store in the Gus R. Douglass Annex will be filled with WV Grown products from all across the state. From jams and jellies made with West Virginia berries to honey collected from Mountain State hives, the Country Store will feature more than 40 vendors who proudly call West Virginia home.
“Not only will visitors be able to taste-test these products, vendors will be on hand to talk about how they find and source their ingredients. Whether it’s maple syrup for the always popular maple cotton candy or red peppers for a spicy salsa, our vendors will share what makes WV-grown products so special,” Leonhardt said. “We encourage everyone to check out everything our WV Grown County Store has to offer.”
Also in the annex, you’ll find the WVDA apiarists who will explain how honeybees help make agriculture possible. They’ll have a demonstration hive behind glass so folks can get up close and see the bees at work. WVDA Plant Industries staff will also be on hand to talk about invasive pests impacting our forests.
The WVDA Produce Safety trailer and tent will be set up directly across from the beer garden and feature new, interactive games. In addition, growers will be able to sign up for free On-Farm Readiness Reviews or on-site visits to determine improvements to their growing and processing operations.
Next to the Dairy Birthing Center, the WVDA Dairy Display will be stationed where children can spin a wheel and win prizes while they learn about West Virginia’s dairy industry. Because of the on-going Avian Influenza (AI) outbreak in surrounding states, the Poultry Building will not feature live birds during the fair. However, fairgoers may stop by, between 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., to visit educational displays and to sample poultry products.
Much of the action at the State Fair takes place at the livestock barns. Hundreds of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, llamas and horses will be on display. The WVDA Animal Health staff will be on hand throughout the fair checking in animals, making sure there are no signs of communicable diseases. They also make sure all testing requirements have been met and the proper movement documents are in place. If you have animal health questions, you can contact the WVDA Animal Health Division at 304-558-2214.