Agricultural education is a focus at the Iowa State Fair. From baby animals to food production and more, you will find plenty of exciting activities and events to explore more of Iowa's diverse agriculture industry.
Farm to Fair
If you've ever wondered how your food makes it to the dinner table, you're in luck. On Friday, August 16, 2019, from noon to 2 p.m., you can join Iowa farmers at the Iowa State Fair's dinner table in the air conditioned Pioneer Livestock Pavilion. Five hundred lucky winners will enjoy sitting around the dinner table with Iowa farmers to ask food questions like how do eggs get their color, or what are organic foods, GMO's and antibiotics? Maybe you'll discover the secret to pork chops on a stick?
Tell us why you want a seat at the table by July 19, 2019 by applying at www.iowastatefair.org/whats-new. Fair Admission is included and 500 lucky winners will be selected at random.
Farm to Fair is sponsored by the Iowa Pork Producers and Iowa Select Farms, Iowa Beef Council, Midwest Dairy, Iowa Corn, Iowa Egg Council, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Turkey Federation.
Goat Yoga is returning to the Iowa State Fair on August 12, 14 and 17 in the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center. Pick a time to get face-to-face with these babies while doing your favorite poses alongside other baby animals, including ducks, piglets, chicks and more! New this year, the ticketed events will include an exclusive Iowa State Fair Goat Yoga mat for the first 250 registered participants.
Tickets are just $20 and are open to any age. The ticket includes an exclusive Iowa State Fair Goat Yoga mat, professional instructor and cuter than cute baby goats born during the 2019 Iowa State Fair.
Tickets are on sale at www.iowastatefair.org; limited number available. No refunds, no exchanges. Fair Admission is not included, but advanced admission tickets are on sale at www.iowastatefair.org.
Fair After Dark
For the second year, Fair After Dark will allow Fairgoers 21 and over to experience exclusive Fair sights, sounds and tastes. The 2019 series features two Fair After Dark events: Hungry Games in the Elwell Family Food Center and Crafts and Crafts in the Patty and Jim Cownie Cultural Center.
See the Hungry Games in the Elwell Family Food Center on Saturday, August 10 from 9:30-11:30 p.m. with grown up cupcake wars, an ugliest cake competition, "Chopped" gone Fair style and samples galore of Iowa beef, pork, dairy, egg, turkey and corn. This isn't your Dad's turn at the grill or your Mom's glass of wine; find out how to create boozy marinades with Templeton Rye and pair wine and spirits with the best of dishes.
Take part in Crafts and Crafts in the Patty and Jim Cownie Cultural Center on Thursday, August 15 from 9:30-11:30 p.m. Bring out your inner artist with hands-on activities like beer cap magnets, wood string art ornaments, origami and art that is literally on fire! Iowa's craft beer industry is booming, so enjoy your favorite or try a new craft beer or cider from Iowa Craft Beer while you get creative!
Tickets are $30.
• VIP Access
• Food and Drink Samples (Hungry Games)
• Contests (Hungry Games)
• Multiple Take Home Crafts (Crafts and Crafts)
• (2) Drink Tickets
Attendees must be 21 and over, no children allowed. IDs will be checked at the door.
Have You Herd?
The Iowa State Fair is a great place for youth exhibitors in 4-H and FFA to show their livestock, and now the Iowa State Fair is launching a new program for these exhibitors to give live animal demonstrations about their animals. Exhibitors will come from a variety of backgrounds and ages, and demonstrations will be held in the Have You Herd? Tent located outside of the Sheep Barn August 8-17 at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Demonstrations will be 20 minutes long with 10-minute question and answer sessions.
Blue Ribbon Kids Club
Just east of the John Deere Agricultural Building is the Fun Forest Stage, featuring Blue Ribbon Kids' Club. Blue Ribbon Kids' events are every weekday at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Activities include make and take crafts centered on the day's theme, including fishing safety from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, dairy, kid focused goat yoga, science experiments and theater classes.
There are many new things to learn in the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center, just a short walk from Hy-Vee Fun Forest. Discover more about how farmers use different egg production systems to produce safe and wholesome food, as hens will take up residence to showcase a modern housing system. Be sure to also check out the birthing videos explaining the basics on how some of Iowa's cutest baby farm animals made their way into the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center. Want more family friendly fun? Check out the Christensen Farms Stage featuring Way We Live Award Presentations, daily butter sculpting, and many other contests and presentations.
Fairgoers can also stop in and see Thank A Farmer Magic Show, a fun, energetic and educational show that focuses on the importance and impact farming and agriculture have on our daily lives. Sign up for our text alerts to receive updates on when new babies are being born by texting BABY to 75782; message and data rates apply.
Little Hands on the Farm
Located next to the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center, the Andringa Family Foundation Little Hands on the Farm is celebrating its 15th Anniversary. Through this interactive adventure, kids can learn what it is like to do chores on a farm and earn play money to spend at the grocery store.
Experience Dairy Guide Tours will give Fairgoers a chance to learn more about the life of an Iowa dairy farmer, their cows and the milking process. Tours will be held at the Boulevard of Dairy Breeds and Milking Parlor of the North Annex of the John and Emily Putney Family Cattle Barn August 11 at 3:30 and 4:30 p.m., August 12-14 at 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., August 15 at 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. and August 16 - 17 at 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
The Boulevard of Dairy Breeds, located in the John and Emily Putney Family Cattle Barn, will focus on the six main breeds of dairy cattle in Iowa with hands-on activities, cattle, baby calves and the favorite "I Milked a Cow" display. Be sure to check out the public milkings daily at 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. in the renovated milking parlor.
Make memories your kids will never forget with the Grape Getaway daily across from Grandfather's Barn starting at 9. Go on a Fair Photo Adventure with the Iowa State Fair's Fair Photo Challenge, with clues on the official Iowa State Fair App, and don't forget to visit new day time entertainment from Wool Rider's Only Mutton' Busting.