South Carolina’s State Fair gets underway in Columbia on the 10th and runs through the 21st. The South Carolina fair has some unusual origins, especially for fairs in the southeast. SC Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers:
“It is a private foundation, the South Carolina State Fair Association that manages the fair. It has a single goal of creating scholarship funds. It’s a very well-run organization that is staying ahead of the curve on technology and ways to be hospitable. They have put up a new fountain, showing they really take care of the property. Gary Goodman has been the manager there for many years, and they are a great partner to work with.
The fair was actually started by the Agricultural and Mechanical Society. That’s why the connection to agriculture is so strong. With good weather they will have over 600,000 people come through the fair.
The SC Dept of Agriculture has a big presence, especially this year with the Farm to Fair initiative that we have been working on since the spring. We have the website up for the youth to engage in and learn more about agriculture.
The future of agriculture definitely resides with our young people. We are very optimistic because we see that our farming population is growing older, so we have to have the education and have people get excited about food and farming. And for one out of fifty young people to choose a career in farming. The fair might be the catalyst for someone to make that decision.”
South Carolina Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers