Fruits, vegetables and farm animals, oh my

Delaware exhibitors, both youth and adult, are ready to showcase their agricultural exhibits at this year’s Delaware State Fair, according to the Delaware Department of Agriculture.

Along with rides, food and games, the state fair is a great opportunity for fair-goers to learn more about agriculture - Delaware’s top industry.

“I encourage everyone to join our staff down at the Delaware State Fair – one of the best fairs in the United States – to learn about Delaware agriculture and all it does for our consumers and our economy,” said Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse.

More than ninety-nine percent of Delaware’s 2,500 farms are family-owned. Delaware farmers produce a variety of agricultural products on 500,000 acres of farmland, including corn, soybeans, wheat, poultry and livestock, and fruits and vegetables.

All of the state’s agricultural commodities can be experienced at the fair simply by visiting the barns and buildings along Holloway Street, from the front of the Fair by Quillen Arena all the way back to the 4-H/FFA Building (The Centre) and The Delmarva Building.

“If you have never been to the fair, you really need to step inside the 4-H/FFA Building to see how truly talented our young people involved in these organizations are. At some point, you are going to want to stop into the Department’s Ag Commodities building to learn how to cook with Delaware Grown produce, try your hand at plowing a field on our interactive farm games, and talk with people who are involved in agriculture," Scuse recommended. "Finally, walk through the livestock barns to see the wide variety of animals that our young people are showing. Take time to ask questions and learn where your food comes from.”

Attendees can also get a glimpse of the equine industry throughout fair. Exhibitors will be participating in English and Western classes, showmanship, showing horses in hand, and driving.

Harrington Raceway is one of three tracks in Delaware that offers horse racing, and on Thursday, July 26, fair-goers are invited to attend harness racing at the M&T Bank Grandstand with a 7 p.m. post time. With more than $550,000 in total purses, the race program will be headlined by four $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund final events for 3-year-olds as well as program staples like the Governor’s Cup, which features some of Delaware’s top horses, ages three years and older. Governor John Carney will be on hand to present the trophy to the winner.

The DDA urges fair-goers not to end their agricultural experience at the fair. More than 127,000 acres of farmland is permanently preserved throughout Delaware for future generations - hop in the car and take a road trip.