By all accounts 2013 and the Year of Popcorn has been a standout Indiana State Fair. One man who seems to see everything every year at the fair is Indiana Farm Bureau president Don Villwock. How does it look through his eyes?
“Oh it’s just been outstanding. Of course the fair is determined by the weather and we’ve had some of the best state fair weather we’ve ever had. We have a new exhibit with the Glass Barn that has been just a tremendous hit bringing in consumers and education them, and I’ve spent quite a bit of time there just watching the participants that come through and watch in amazement about what modern agriculture is about.”
He said there is a tremendous amount of ag education throughout the fairgrounds, “and I know in the Farm Bureau building we’re dedicated there as well to educating consumers about modern day agriculture. So what better venue than to have approximately a million visitors come to the fair and learn about agriculture.”
And because of the perfect weather the million visitor mark could be reached for the first time.
“Well we’re crossing our fingers and I wish the state fair commission and the state fair board that work so hard all year long putting this event together with the leadership of Cindy Hoye and Andre Lacy. This is just a tremendous venue and we hope they meet that million person goal.”
A Farmer’s Day tradition is to kick off the morning with the old fashioned pancake breakfast. It was a success Wednesday despite very cool conditions for awhile.
“Well I had my coat on! I don’t think I can ever remember at 7:00 being that cold, but we had over a thousand people that were served pancakes and what was also great we were able to give $3,000 to Indiana FFA which we always do with the proceeds, and we got to honor Dave and Mary Miers from Decatur County for their efforts in historic preservation to remind us about the great history we have in Indiana agriculture.”
The Miers are 6th generation farmers with a 2,000 acre corn, soybeans, and wheat operation and were present the Arnold Award for Rural Preservation.
Villwock told HAT the farm bureau presence at the fair and sponsorship and support of many events and 4-H members is to help maintain a license with society by helping educate people about the high level of safety of their food and the care farmers have for their land, rivers, and streams.