It’s that time of year again when kids going back to school, the air is getting cool, and it’s time for county fairs to be popping up across the country… and right here in Polk County too!
The Polk County Fair has been hosted by the Exchange Club since 1961, and we’re privileged to live in a community that continues to love and expect the fun and flavors of a local county fair. This year’s fair is September 10 to 14, 2019. Mark your calendars!
Did you know that the fair isn’t just about the exciting rides, amazing food and challenging games? American rural county fairs have always been about local agriculture.
The earliest fair in US History was hosted in 1807. It simply consisted of sheep shearing demonstrations, but it opened the door for future fairs. Area farmers began to showcase their livestock and receive awards for the quality of their animals and other agricultural products. The concept spread quickly and became a wonderful American tradition.
Later technology advances were highlighted at these fairs, providing rural families a glimpse at new and modern ideas that made their lives easier. Entertainment acts were eventually added as well as the carnival rides and other amusements, which we love so much today!
Today, there are over 2000 county and state fairs nationwide that bring people together to enjoy our American traditions and (hopefully) remember where we come from.
So why is this important in Polk County? It is so easy to forget our agricultural heritage. Did you realize that agriculture is still the number one economic industry in Polk County and across Georgia? Agriculture is the largest industry in Polk County with over 400 farms with output value of $276 million and 1530 jobs. In Georgia, our dedicated farmers deserve all the credit for the state’s booming economy.
Close to $72.5 billion each year in Georgia’s economy is attributed to agriculture. In fact, one in seven Georgians work in the agriculture, forestry, or related industry.
Not only do our farmers feed our growing population in the United States, but we also feed countries around the world.
Polk County continues the annual tradition of supporting local agriculture at the fair. Thursday night, September 12, will highlight our local youth and their livestock projects.
Students representing 4H and FFA from around the region will be showing their livestock at the annual stock show. Their livestock projects teach them important leadership and business values that will benefit them for a lifetime.
These programs often help them with the opportunity to continue their education after high school with scholarships. Drop by and show some support for these young people and be sure and visit all the agriculture exhibits this year.
So come to the fair and enjoy the food, the rides and most importantly, the agricultural exhibits and livestock show. Polk County farmers play a major role locally in ensuring we have an abundance of food, and they also make a global impact by growing food to feed the world’s growing population.
This year, when you head to the fair for the rides, food, and entertainment—remember the history and reason the fair is here. Come cheer on the kids and enjoy our agriculture heritage!