“The Kentucky State Fair is one of the premier fairs in the nation, and these awards prove it,” Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said. “It’s especially gratifying that the IAFE recognized two Kentucky Department of Agriculture programs that we created last year. Congratulations to all our friends at the Kentucky State Fair for these well-deserved honors.”
The fair placed second in the agricultural awards program for the Kentucky Farm to School Junior Chef competition, in which high school cooking teams from each of Kentucky’s 16 regions meet to determine the state champion. The Junior Chef competition, which is part of the KDA’s Farm to School Program, encourages high school students to learn how to cook by using local ingredients to prepare healthy meals while at the same time teaching students about agriculture, marketing, organization, teamwork, and community involvement.
In the competitive exhibits awards division, the fair earned second place for the department’s Homegrown By Heroes display in the West Hall of the Kentucky Exposition Center. The display honored Kentucky’s military veterans. Homegrown By Heroes is a brand under the Kentucky Proud umbrella that designates farm products produced by Kentucky veterans.
Commissioner Comer launched Homegrown By Heroes and the Farm to School Junior Chef competition in 2013. Homegrown By Heroes became a national brand in November 2013.
The Kentucky State Fair also took first place in the competitive exhibits awards division for the 4-H Cloverville Country Ham exhibit and won third for the fairy garden category in the plants and flowers department. The fair won a second and two third-place awards in the communication division.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture plays a significant role at the state fair. KDA employees inspect amusement rides, check livestock health papers, conduct livestock shows and judging competitions, build and staff exhibits, and perform many other tasks to help keep the fair running smoothly.