Visit the Minnesota State Fair “Ag Style”

Market Hog

Who doesn’t love fairs? The food . . . the entertainment . . . the exhibits. I have a hard time deciding what I like best. My county fair does a fantastic job, but it has nothing on the granddaddy of them all – the Minnesota State Fair. So what is there to do at the State Fair? Here is my short and to the point “must do” list for the Minnesota State Fair – “Ag Style,” which is a different take than most people will show.

Food

This year the Minnesota State Fair will be held August 22 – September 2, 2019 in St. Paul. My “must-do” list has both things to eat and things to see.

Let’s start with the food.

I have three food items on my “must-do” food list. The first is the Big Fat Bacon. 1/3 pound grilled with maple syrup. Do I have to say more? Once you have one, you will be back for more. Guaranteed. Another personal food favorite is the malts from the dairy building. My personal favorite flavor is, of course, chocolate. And, lastly and oddest, my “must do” food item is a footlong hotdog with grilled onions. I know, I know – footlong hotdogs are not odd. Especially at fairs. But for me, my family’s tradition is having one for breakfast. It’s the only time of the year I eat a hot dog for breakfast.

hotdog
Footlong Hotdog w/Grilled Onions for Breakfast

Besides my favorite traditional State Fair food items, I have favorite exhibits on my “must do” list. I usually start with the Farm Bureau building, then make my way to the CHS Miracle of Birth building, the Dairy building (think malts and butter sculptures!), the Swine Barn and then end up at the livestock buildings with the Oink Booth being my favorite.

Ag Exhibits

Speaking of traditions and a “must-do” at the Minnesota State Fair- the Farm Bureau building is one of my yearly traditions. And if this isn’t your tradition, I challenge you to add it.

Farm Bureau
Farm Bureau Bldg

One of the great aspects of the Farm Bureau building is the opportunity to talk to a farmer firsthand. Farmers from across Minnesota will be available during the fair for you to meet. They LOVE, LOVE sharing information about their farm! And it’s a great opportunity for you to ask them questions about what they do.

Farmers
Farmers Sharing their Story
Meet a farmer
Meet a Farmer

 CHS Miracle of Birth Center

Another place to check out is the CHS Miracle of Birth Center. It is probably the most popular place on the fairgrounds. It is a one-of-a-kind agricultural education exhibit and the birthplace of nearly 200 calves, lambs, goats and piglets during the Minnesota State Fair. Who doesn’t love baby animals?
Miracle of Birth Center
Miracle of Birth Center

If you happen to be at the fair on Aug 30-Sept 1, located next to the CHS Miracle of Birth Center, MN Pork sponsors a few fun events. Not only will they be giving out freshly grilled pork samples, but you can also have your picture taken with a chance to win bacon for a year. Now, who wouldn’t love that! You also have the opportunity to meet and talk with people who raise pigs in Minnesota.

When you are finished looking at the baby farm animals, make your way to the livestock buildings. My favorite livestock building at the Minnesota State Fair is the swine building, and more specifically, the oink booth. Here you will get an up-close view of a mother sow with her piglets. And not only that, you can talk directly to pig farmers as they will be available to answer your questions about pigs and pig farming.

Oink Booth
Oink Booth – Minnesota State Fair
sow and piglets
Sow and Piglets

Minnesota Ag in the Classroom

If you have children or grandchildren, make your way to the Agriculture building (on the hill) between 1:30-3:30. Find the Minnesota Ag in the Classroom booth where there will be a “make and take” activity. Last year, I helped with a “living necklace.” Everyone loved making these–even adults!

Making the “living plant” necklace

Make sure you make your visit to the Minnesota State Fair in “Ag Style.”

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