Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles invites all Kentuckians to join him at Kentucky agriculture's mid-summer showcase, the 115th Kentucky State Fair, Aug. 15-25 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

"The Kentucky State Fair brings the best of Kentucky agriculture together in one location," Quarles said. "The fair is a golden opportunity for farmers to talk to the non-farming community about how they produce the food and fiber we all depend on and why they love the agricultural lifestyle. It's also the highlight of the livestock show season in Kentucky, where the best of the best compete for prizes and bragging rights. My staff and I will be hard at work to help everyone enjoy their visit to the fair."

For the second year in a row, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) and its partners in Kentucky's Farm Families will host the AgLand exhibit in the South Wing.

AgLand was introduced at the 2018 Kentucky State Fair to highlight Kentucky's rich farming heritage and its bright agricultural future.

AgLand exhibits include the 4-H Cloverville space, FFA projects, the Discovery Farm Sponsored by Kentucky Pork Producers, and more ag attractions. Once again, KDA staff will offer free Kentucky Proud popcorn to AgLand visitors.

As always, the KDA will do its part to keep the state fair running smoothly. Department employees will work the livestock shows and review the health papers of animals entering the fairgrounds. Inspectors will check the amusement rides to make sure they are operating according to the manufacturers' specifications. Employees will staff the AgLand exhibits and manage the fruit, vegetable, crop, and bees and honey exhibits in the West Hall.

The state fair opens Thursday with the Kentucky Commodity Breakfast at 7 a.m. at the Great Kentucky Cook Out Tent. Commissioner Quarles and other dignitaries will serve a hearty breakfast provided by Kentucky commodity groups. The official opening ceremony will follow.

The Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) Country Ham Breakfast is set for Aug. 22 at 7:30 a.m. Commissioner Quarles will join other federal and state officials to address a crowd of about 1,600, with KFB President Mark Haney serving as emcee.

The grand champion country ham will be auctioned for charity, with bids reaching seven figures possible.

Last year's champion ham, produced by Broadbent B&B Foods of Kuttawa, attracted a record $2.8 million from Central Bank and Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn.

To find out more about the Kentucky State Fair, including ticket information and the concert schedule, go to kystatefair.org.

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