Commissioner's Comments

Support our youth at the Kentucky State Fair


Agriculture Commissioner James Comer

The Kentucky State Fair is the World Series of livestock exhibitions in Kentucky. The best exhibitors and show animals converge on Louisville to put their skills to the test in front of nationally recognized judges and a statewide audience. All their hard work, and everything they’ve learned about preparing and showing livestock projects, lead to the Kentucky Exposition Center in August.



I remember well my days showing livestock at the state fair. A crowd of people would gather to watch the shows. The judge, after lengthy and careful consideration, would reach his hand out to the winner. The crowd would applaud and cheer — even if the winner wasn’t their favorite.

For a livestock exhibitor, the road to Louisville is a long one. To get there, they spend countless hours feeding, watering, grooming, bedding, and training their animals. They compete in preview and district shows and county fairs. They have days when everything falls into place, and they have days when nothing falls into place, no matter how hard they have prepared. How they handle both circumstances will go a long way toward determining how they do at the state fair — and in life.

I firmly believe that competition builds character and helps young people learn how to get along. Competition helped me learn to win gracefully, to get up and dust myself off from a loss, and to appreciate the efforts of the other competitors. And I believe it is our responsibility as adults to teach our young people to work hard and do their best.

That’s why I encourage everyone to go to the livestock shows and cheer on these young exhibitors, even if you don’t have a rooting interest. Applaud the winners for their effort, and encourage the other competitors to learn from their mistakes and try again.

While you’re at the fair, browse the 4-H and FFA exhibits in the West Hall, and see some of the brilliant projects our young people are creating.

To find a schedule of livestock shows online, go to the Kentucky State Fair’s website,, and go to Agriculture to find a schedule for each venue. You also can pick up a program when you pass through one of the entrances to the Kentucky Exposition Center.

I know I’m preaching to the choir, but these bright, hard-working young people are our future farmers, employees, business people, voters, and leaders. Visit the Kentucky State Fair, and show them your support.