The ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to change the way we live our lives here in Missouri. Last week, we talked about the differences between the start of school now, versus the way we have known it in the past. This week, we turn our attention to the Missouri State Fair. There were many questions asked about how the fair would look this year, without endangering people’s lives. Fortunately, we found a way.
Several months ago, questions were starting to arise about the ability to have the state fair this year, after several counties decided it was best not to host their own fairs this year. After much thought and debate, the governor announced the fair would be held, but with precautions in place. As summer progressed, the decision was made to go ahead and host the fair; however, it wouldn’t be the same grand event that people were used to over the years. As a result, this year’s state fair returned to its roots as a youth livestock show only.
Missouri agriculture has always been the centerpiece of the state fair. Farming is the very heart and soul of our great state, and remains our No. 1 industry. Yes, it is always a treat to have the funnel cakes and fried Spam, but it is much important to highlight those people who have dedicated their lives to agriculture, at least, in my opinion. These young men and women have spent countless hours working toward the middle of August. To deny them their moment to shine, much less to let darkness fall on agriculture, would be a bad message to send.
The fair looked different this year, but, as always, it shined a bright light on agriculture and those who have dedicated their lives to our state’s No. 1 industry. I think everybody involved is already looking forward to next year, with the hopes that we can go back to a state fair we have seen for years. This would be a reflection of how we hope to see ourselves and our lives in the next year, back to a more normal way of living and a return to celebrations of so many great accomplishments by so many wonderful people who keep the Missouri way of life breathing each and every day.
As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is 573-751-1415, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.
Dan Hegeman is the 12th District State Senator.