Sen. Mike Bernskoetter’s Legislative Column for Aug. 19, 2020

The Heart of the State Fair

It’s no secret, our lives have changed a lot over the past eight months. The coronavirus pandemic has affected each of us in our own unique ways. While summertime is normally a time for ballgames and family trips, this summer has been anything but normal. Despite everything going on in our world, I was proud to see one of our state’s most important traditions continue this summer — the State Fair.

This year’s fair, which wraps up on Aug. 23, was slimmed down compared to previous years. There were no big concerts or carnival rides. Most of the buildings were closed, and concessions were even limited as the fair pivoted to a youth livestock show only. While this year’s fair changed to meet the realities of the moment, the heart of the fair remained the same – celebrating a love for Missouri agriculture.

For over a century, Missourians have been coming together to celebrate agriculture and the important role it plays in our lives at the State Fair. Spurred by a dedicated group of livestock breeders, the fair offers an opportunity to highlight the best of what Missouri agriculture has to offer. Since 1901, Missourians have gathered every year for the State Fair, aside from one year during World War II. As I attended this year’s fair, I was glad to see this mighty Missouri tradition continue on, even in a limited capacity.

While everyone enjoys a fair, I believe what sets the State Fair apart from every other fair is its ability to showcase our state’s No. 1 industry. For many, agriculture isn’t just a job, it’s a way of life. The State Fair provides an opportunity to honor those individuals who dedicate their lives to not only feeding our state, but our nation and our world. The fair is also about recognizing the best of the next crop of Missouri farmers. The kids who participated in this year’s livestock show have invested a great deal of time and effort into their projects. They have worked hard, and I am thankful that they still had the opportunity to show off their projects at the fair. It takes courage and dedication to show an animal you’ve invested so much time into, and no matter the ranking these kids received, they all deserve a round of applause for their hard work.

As this year’s fair wraps up, I’m excited to see what next year’s fair has in store for us. I hope by then this pandemic will be over, and we can more fully enjoy the State Fair and all it has to offer.

Please feel free to contact my office at (573) 751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at