On Thursday, Governor Mike Parson joined Missouri 4-H and FFA exhibitors from across the state to celebrate the future of Missouri agriculture. Entries in livestock shows for the 4-H and FFA classes during the 2020 Missouri State Fair showed strength and growth compared to last year.

“We believed from day one that we could stay true to our agriculture roots and safely host the Missouri State Fair for our youth exhibitors,” Governor Parson said. “By going back to the basics of the original 1901 Missouri State Fair, we’ve been reminded of the importance of giving our young people the chance to have a hands-on experience and be successful.”

“I am so proud of each exhibitor and the energy they bring to Missouri agriculture,” said Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chinn. “They are the reason we worked hard to overcome the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our youth exhibitors and their families are a true testament to the 2020 theme – Home is Here.”

In total, youth livestock entries increased by 12% compared to 2019 with growth in seven of the eight livestock species.

Livestock Entries
2019
2020

4-H/FFA Horse
273
229

4-H/FFA Beef
1,079
1,134

4-H/FFA Dairy Cattle
82
97

4-H/FFA Boer Goats
306
352

4-H/FFA Dairy Goats
88
119

4-H/FFA Poultry
414
531

4-H/FFA Sheep
946
1,014

4-H/FFA Swine
1,625
1,891

TOTAL
4,813
5,367

Leaders from Missouri 4-H and Missouri FFA also completed judging for other contests, including agriculture mechanics, horticulture, field crops, hams, bacons, and more. The Missouri 4-H building will also be open to the public to view static youth projects.

“Our team is thankful for the agriculture community, specifically our youth exhibitors and their families, for sticking by us through the uncertainty,” Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe said. “It’s because of their commitment to showing off the best of Missouri agriculture that we can call the Youth Livestock Show a tremendous success for our young people.”

The Missouri State Fair team also completed a list of overdue capital improvements on the fairgrounds, ensuring the next generation of fairgoers has a strong foundation to build upon. For the first time in nearly a decade, the State Fair received funding from the General Assembly to pair with support from private businesses like Nucor Steel to complete the following list of projects:
New Director’s Pavilion
Construction of 150 new exhibitor camping spots
Swine Barn electrical renovation
Sheep Pavilion complete renovation
Horse barns critical structure upgrades
Public campground electrical upgrades

The Missouri State Fair Youth Livestock Show will continue through August 23, 2020, in Sedalia. For more information, please visit mostatefair.com.

Gov. Mike Parson