The Missouri State Fair recently celebrated many honors at the 2020 International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) virtual convention.

Among the awards received included the prestigious Agriculture Judges’ Choice Award for the new first-time exhibitor grant program.

 The program was facilitated and in partnership with the The Agriculture Judges’ Choice Award is selected among all agricultural awards entries, this year totaling 119, on the basis of being exceptionally original, creative and innovative. Ideal winners are those that may be easily replicated by any fair or exposition.

“Being recognized for the first-time exhibitor grant program by the IAFE is an outstanding honor,” said Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe. “The grant program is an amazing way to help foster the Fair’s mission of showcasing Missouri agriculture and cultivating future ag leaders. We are especially grateful to the numerous individuals who contributed to the grant program through the State Fair Foundation and are excited to see the program grow in the future.”


Additionally, nine first place awards were received including honors for the cattle barn bedding pilot project implemented at the 2020 Youth Livestock Show, social media campaign, Missouri 4-H’s new Best of Show program and facility upgrades including the Sheep Pavilion and the partnership with NUCOR Steel Sedalia for the new Director’s Pavilion.


The Missouri State Fair received a total of 18 first, second and third place wins for programs in sponsorship activations, competitive exhibit programs, agriculture education initiatives, non-fair facility usage and overall communication efforts. A complete list of awards can be found on the Fair’s website.


“Each entry into the annual IAFE contest is evaluated based on criteria set forth by industry committee members. Being recognized as a contest winner is an accomplishment many fairs strive to achieve throughout the year. With the unusual year came many challenges to our industry, but the contest program was still able to showcase the best programs across the world” IAFE Member Services Coordinator Brittney Harper said.


The contests are divided into five divisions by fair attendance. After submission, entries are judged based upon predetermined criteria set forth by IAFE committees. Judges include industry professionals both within, and outside of, the IAFE membership.


The International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), based in Springfield, Mo., is a voluntary, nonprofit corporation, serving state, provincial, regional, and county agricultural fairs, shows, exhibitions, and expositions. Its associate members include state and provincial associations of fairs, non-agricultural expositions and festivals, associations, corporations, and individuals engaged in providing products and services to its members, all of whom are interested in the improvement of fairs, shows, expositions, and allied fields. For more information, visit, follow the IAFE on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, or call 800.516.0313.

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