Celebrating Agriculture at the State Fair

Ag Day at the Illinois State Fair is an annual event bringing together the best and brightest in the Illinois farm and food sectors. This year’s celebration took place on August 16, kicking off with breakfast and awards program in the Orr Building on the Springfield fairgrounds.

The Agriculture Breakfast celebrates agriculture as Illinois’ #1 industry and recognizes ag professionals who work to support and enrich agriculture across the state. Attendees heard from Governor J.B. Pritzker, Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton, and Director of Agriculture Jerry Costello who emphasized the importance of agriculture to the economy, culture, and livelihood of Illinois.

Governor Pritzker begins Ag Day awards breakfast. Photo Credit: CIProud

The award ceremony honored several 2022 Illinois statewide award winners and recognized over 180 bicentennial (200 years), sesquicentennial (150 years), and centennial (100 years) family farms in Illinois. Several ISAP members, including American Farmland Trust, Illinois Corn Growers Association, and the Illinois Soybean Association, sponsored the event.

Beyond the breakfast, fair goers had an opportunity to experience Illinois agriculture by visiting the livestock barns, sipping apple cider slushies, and learning more about specialty crops.

In the Dairy Building, ISAP member Midwest Dairy shared information with the public on the Illinois dairy industry, just a few feet away from the fair’s famous. The Butter Cow, which is sculpted by hand from 500 pounds of butter over the span of five days, has been an unofficial icon of the Illinois State fair since the 1920’s.

Butter cow revealed at Illinois State Fair. Photo Credit: WICS

According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the 2022 State Fair broke attendance records with over 636,700 attendees over the two-week event, showing more interest than ever in Illinois agriculture. ISAP is proud to work together with leaders across the state to celebrate and support the healthy soils, clean water, and profitable farms in Illinois.

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ISAP Coordinator