Food remains the one common denominator between rural farmers and ranchers and our urbanite friends and family.  No matter how far removed someone is from the farm or ranch, chances are they still like to eat the same things you do!  Incorporating a food event into your county fair activities is a great way to bring the conversation about agriculture full circle.  It helps others understand that what we raise is the same yummy food that finds its way to their homes and their plates.

There are endless opportunities to incorporate food into your county fair events:

Coupons—We’ve already covered this topic, but you can check it out here

Build a Burger—Give away burgers one day during the fair, but have people assemble their own burger and learn where and how each ingredient is grown.

Cooking Contests—Everyone has a favorite pie, chili, or BBQ recipe.  Provide a stage for them to showcase it and allow the customers to cast votes for their favorite entry.

Pancake Suppers—Relatively cheap, pancake suppers are a great way to show member appreciation or to recognize members of 4-H and FFA and their families during the fair week.

Water Bottles—It’s important to stay hydrated during the dog days of summer.  Many bottling companies will create customized labels for water.  Consider adding your county logo and some great farm facts.

Providing food can be expensive; here are a few tips to avoid breaking the bank:

  • Work with local businesses to secure sponsorships or food donations.

  • Only prepare a certain number of servings. When it’s gone it’s gone!

  • Let others do the cooking. Offering coupons or hosting a cooking contest are great ways to achieve this.

  • Consider co-hosting with other local groups in the community. Partnerships are great and you never know what another group can bring to the table.

From 4-H and FFA projects to open class cooking, canning, quilting, gardening and more; county fairs exemplify our rural lifestyle and values.  It’s the perfect venue to showcase the local Farm Bureau and Montana agriculture as well.  For help planning your next count fair event, contact your Regional Manager.