Why Covid-19 relief should include America’s agricultural fairs

Source: Jennifer Shike, Farm Journal’s Pork, 23 July 2020, photo credit: Ohio State Fair

State and county fairs are a major source of promotion for U.S. agriculture. With the many cancellations of fairs across the country, Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) urged House leadership on Wednesday to include strong support for state and county agricultural fairs in the next COVID-19 relief package.

Fairs encourage and develop the next generation of America’s food producers, the Congressmen shared in a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

“Agricultural producers in rural America represent less than 1% of the U.S. population, and with the average age of a farmer being 57 years old, it is imperative for us to engage and encourage young people to pursue agricultural careers.

By cultivating a passion for agriculture in students and supporting beginning farmers and ranchers, fairs help build the future of agriculture. These exhibitions demonstrate to the public and the farming community, that we do not take for granted the work they do to feed us all,” the letter said.
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The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) coordinates industry interventions and collaboratively manages risks in the value chain to enable the sustainability and profitability of pork producers in South Africa.