Weekly Column

By U.S. Senator Deb Fischer

**Audio is not available for this week’s column**

Nebraska has many traditions, but one of my personal favorites is our State Fair.

For over a century and a half, the State Fair has served as an important annual forum to celebrate our state’s agricultural sector, as well as showcase the food, people, and culture that make Nebraska special. In fact, the tradition stretches all the way back to when Nebraska was just a U.S. territory.

From our days as a frontier community to the modern age, agriculture has played a significant role in Nebraska’s development. The livestock industry alone has an outsized impact on our state’s economy – as much as $13.8 billion. The State Fair is a testament to that impact and the many family farmers and ranchers who work so hard every day to feed the world.

I’ll be attending the fair later this week and I can’t wait to stop by the many different booths and see what new attractions have come to the fair this year. 

Any visit to the state fair must always include some time at the Nebraska Cattlemen Beef Pit, where you can get some incredible prime rib or BBQ beef sandwiches. The Beef Pit is a place to meet friends and neighbors and is always a busy place serving thousands of delicious sandwiches during the fair.

Another must-try is the pineapple whip – a longtime favorite fair treat. I hear there are some new food vendors this year selling everything from birria tacos to freeze-dried skittles and “cupcakes and cookies in a bucket.” I’m sure many of these new items will be great additions to the fair for kids of all ages. There are so many options – just make sure you arrive plenty hungry.

On the entertainment side of things, there are a number of concerts, multicultural events, and competitions to choose from. This includes the fan favorite tractor pull and a state championship demo derby. And then, of course, there are plenty of carnival rides and other attractions for the more adventurous fairgoers.

As much as we love the food and fun, the State Fair also serves as an important educational opportunity. There are many competitive showcases and livestock exhibits for members of FFA and 4-H. I especially enjoy walking through and viewing the projects these young people have worked on all year and also watching them show their livestock. These programs provide important life lessons for them. And these friendly competitions are a way to proudly display their hard work and be recognized by their fellow Nebraskans for their efforts.

Another component of the State Fair is the local media booths. I always enjoy visiting with Nebraska media outlets like KRVN and NTV to discuss the fair and share some updates on the issues I’m working on in Washington. 

I’m quite sure this year’s fair will be another fabulous experience. The State Fair runs from August 26th to September 5th. In addition to spending some of my time at the State Fair, I’ll also continue to travel to communities across our state visiting with Nebraskans. It is always a busy end of the summer season in The Good Life!

Thank you for participating in the democratic process. I look forward to visiting with you again next week.

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