NC Commissioner Steve Troxler: Mountain State Fair Cxl’d, but Junior Livestock Shows to Go On

We had gotten to a critical time in the planning and preparation for the Mountain State Fair where we would have had to start signing contracts and obligating money for fair expenses. With the state remaining in Phase 2 of re-opening, the right decision was to cancel the 2020 Mountain State Fair. But we will be looking for other activities to bring to the fairgrounds when the fair would have been operating and we will host junior livestock shows.

  • Many of your listeners may have heard that we made the decision to cancel the 2020 Mountain State Fair.
  • With the state still under Phase 2 COVID restrictions — which restricts large gatherings of people — it was the right and only decision.
  • I know that is disappointing to fair staff, vendors, carnival operators and fairgoers. The Mountain State Fair is like many large events; it is a celebration the community looks forward to each year and holds special memories for a lot of people.
  • It is also a business and provides revenue for many people.
  • We understand what an event like the Mountain State Fair means for a community, and that is why we are looking for alternative events that we may be able to socially distance and safely hold in place of the fair.
  • Our Mountain State Fair team is working on ideas now and we hope to be able to partner with the MANNA Food Bank, which serves Western North Carolina, to hold a canned food drive in lieu of the one that won’t happen at the Mountain State Fair.
  • Some ideas that have been thrown out include a drive-thru fair food event, a drive-in movie or maybe a drive-in concert.
  • We are still exploring options, but we hope to have something to announce before too long.
  • Several weeks ago, we talked about our commitment to junior livestock shows and the fact that they would still be held, but with social distancing in mind.
  • I know the young people work hard on getting their animals ready for the show ring, and they look forward to showing them on a big stage, such as at the Mountain State Fair.
  • At this time, no decision about the N.C. State Fair has been announced. The State Fair and the Mountain State Fair are two separate events and are being considered independent of one another.
  • Regardless of whether the State Fair happens or not, there will also be junior livestock shows at the fairgrounds.
  • On a completely different note, I wanted to congratulate James Lamb on being selected as the 2020 North Carolina Farmer of the Year in the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year program.
  • I am proud that James is a valued and trusted member of my Commissioner’s Circle, which is a group of farmers I reach out to on a regular basis to gauge what is happening in the industry, across commodities and across the state.
  • He is an exemplary farmer and well deserving of this recognition. I know he will represent North Carolina well.
  • In addition to running his own 75-acre farm, James works full time with Prestage Farms handling environmental compliance for all of the company’s hog operations in North Carolina. As the company’s environmental specialist, he works with more than 200 contract growers.
  • Additionally, he serves as the Sampson County Soil and Water Supervisor and is a member of the National Pork Producers Council’s Environmental Committee.
  • James was named “Outstanding Pork Producer” in 2016 by the N.C. Pork Council.
  • James’s farm will compete against the farms of nine other state finalists for the overall winner. I wish him the best of luck.