Let’s all go to the county fair!

Support our agriculture industry

W hat’s so special about the Clinton County Fair, or all county fairs, for that matter?

It’s the people and it’s that the fair represents something we cannot live without: Agriculture.

The 45th Clinton County Fair kicks off this weekend at the fairgrounds near Route 220 at Mackeyville, and the many volunteers — the “fair family” — have dug in their heels to present a week-long event designed to show the importance of agriculture in our lives.

It runs through Aug. 5.

On the hill overlooking the picturesque East Nittany Valley, you’ll find artistry, creativity and agriculture — not to mention some good ‘ole hard work.

To say the fair serves up some good food is an understatment.

Agriculture touches everyone in some way, but many people don’t really know how important it is to America

Most might think county fairs are only about farm tractors, crops, plows and cows.

Well, agriculture — farming — feeds us and, moreover, it is a profession that helps to protect, nourish and strengthen America. A lot of America’s big cities have separated themselves from farming so much so that they take it for granted.

Not so in rural Clinton County.

The main focus of the fair is to provide wholesome family entertainment and to promote and educate people about agriculture.

The fair association works to improve the event year after year.

In Pennsylvania alone, there are over 100 agricultural fairs, associations or societies that have as their focal point education and showcase of agriculture, horticulture and more, according to the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs.

“Nearly six million fairgoers who attend fairs each year can attest to the quality of what fairs have to offer,” the association states.

But county fairs could be in trouble if members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly decide to cut or eliminate funding in the next budget.

County fairs receive premium reimbursements that pay for a lot of the basics of running such an event. If decreased state dollars are allotted, fairs will have to look toward private sponsors and may have to give less prize money to exhibitors.

County fairs are a life tradition — especially in rural areas like Central Pennsylvania.

We all need more tradition in our lives.

So go to the fair and support farmers and others in the agricultural industry for nourishing our lives.