Monday is Farm Family Day at the Missouri State Fair, and Livestock Superintendent David Dick said attendance is great in all 19 departments he oversees.

“No health issues on the grounds,” he said during a Monday during a daily press conference held at the Farm Bureau Building. “We're just about halfway through our fair and numbers are going to be up … Beef showmanship is this afternoon at 1 o'clock in the Coliseum. Typically, there's 30 or 40 kids, – well this year they've got almost a hundred. So that show will be highly competitive.”

Dick said the weather is an 85-percent factor in the success of the Fair. “It's probably less of a livestock issue than a people issue,” he said.

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby

Missouri State Fair Queen Natalie Ayers from Green City was also in attendance at Monday's press conference. She said her crowning was a dream come true.

“I am the 19-year-old daughter of Rick and Jona Ayers of Greeen City, about 25 miles west of Kirksville, a very small town, very rural. But I'm very excited to be here representing them at the Missouri State Fair. This has been a dream of mine since I was about four years old. This is my twentieth State Fair and I'm only 19, so I've been coming to this for as long as I can remember,” Quen Ayers said.

Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn noted a “Red Tape Review” table at the Ag Building, which gives farmers, ranchers and consumers the chance to give feedback to the Department of Agriculture.

“What are we doing right? Where do we need to improve” she said. “Let us know what we can do better,” Chinn said, adding that a one-hour open house will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday at the National Guard Armory in Room 129 in conjunction with the DNR.

Chinn also noted that Gov. Eric Greitens will attend the annual Governor's Ham Breakfast on Thursday morning at the Fair Director's Tent.

“We've had record attendance this year,” Chin said, but did not provide any figures from the weekend.

Lowell Mohler, chairman of the Missouri State Fair Commission, also reported an all-time record attendance on Saturday. He did not have an exact figure, but estimated it to be between 50,000 and 60,000. “We have revenue numbers and we equate that back to (attendance) numbers as soon as all of the pre-fair numbers come in (Break Time and Orschelen,” he said. “But we'll have a hard number for you before the Fair's over.”

Mohler noted that the nice weather has been a good friend to the Fair this year so far. The Alan Jackson show at the Pepsi Grandstand on Saturday was also a factor. The show was reportedly sold out.

In the top photo: 2017 Missouri State Fair Queen Natalie Ayers speaks with reporters at a press conference held Monday at the Farm Bureau Building on the Missouri State Fairgrounds.

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