AMES, Iowa – Many Iowans head to the Iowa State Fair with their favorites in mind – things to do and see, new foods to try, exhibits and shows that can’t be missed. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, with a reputation for helping Iowans reach their goals, is ready to assist at state fair, too.
ISU Extension and Outreach has prepared a state fair bucket list, a to-do list that adds Iowa State pride into every day of the fair Aug. 8–18. Look for the five-gallon red buckets placed at venues around the fairgrounds; they indicate bucket list events and places where ISU Extension and Outreach is present.
Friday a day for 4-H, weeds, grapes
Several bucket list items are scheduled for Friday, Aug. 9. The Iowa 4-H Foundation and 4-H Youth Development program take over the Grand Concourse that day. This is a time to learn about all things 4-H, enjoy hands-on activities, receive alumni discounts, receive a sunscreen stick and take a photo with inflatable CY.
Extension weed scientists hold their annual weed identification contest on the John Deere Agriculture Building lawn Friday, beginning at 9 a.m. The contest is open to youth and adults, with cash prices for top winners. The winners will be announced at a 3 p.m. awards ceremony inside the Agriculture Building.
The mascots grape stomp, held at Grandfather’s Barn at 3 p.m., pits Iowa State’s Cy against Herky and TC, mascots from University of Iowa and University of Northern Iowa respectively, in an afternoon grape stomp. Throughout the fair, Grandfather’s Barn hosts “The Wine Experience,” an educational exhibit about Iowa’s wine industry. Cheer for the mascots Aug. 9, or come any day to learn how Iowa State University is involved in growing the grape and wine industry.
4-H member exhibits and activities
Iowa 4-H members bring their best to the state fair every year. This year over 2,300 4-H members will exhibit nearly 9,000 livestock entries at the fair. Find 4-H members and their animals at the fairground livestock barns. Explore the 3,500 entries in the Bruce L. Rastetter 4-H Exhibits Building to be inspired by the creativity of Iowa 4-H’ers, and congratulate those who are awarded scholarships by the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Liberal Arts and Sciences.
“The Iowa State Fair is a wonderful showcase for our 4-H members to share what they have learned throughout the year,” said Mitch Hoyer, 4-H Exhibits Building superintendent. “There’s something new and creative to see in every display area of the 4-H Exhibits Building, educational presentations to watch and working exhibits to participate in – you might be surprised at what you’ll learn from the 4-H members. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, you’ll turn a corner, discover something new, and be amazed again.”
Exhibit and special events at the 4-H Exhibit Building include 4-H Healthy Living Day, Aug. 10; Invent STEM, Aug. 11; 4-H Global Citizenship Day, Aug. 15; and Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame, Aug. 18.
Impactful innovation, entrepreneurship at Iowa State exhibit
State fair visitors will experience what it’s like to participate with Iowa State University students who are creating, innovating and “entrepreneuring” when they stop by the ISU exhibit in the Varied Industries Building Aug. 8-18. Students from each of Iowa State’s colleges and representatives of ISU Extension and Outreach will pitch their entrepreneurial ideas to the fair crowd and vie for cash awards.
Twenty-plus extension staff, clients, 4-H members and Rising Star interns are scheduled to pitch their ideas Aug. 11 and 12. Visitors can support their favorite pitch by casting a vote, depositing a soybean in a voting jar. Creative exhibitors getting the most votes move on to final competition the last two days of the fair - getting closer to reaching the goal on their bucket list.