August is a special time of year in Missouri as citizens from across the state flock to Sedalia for the fun and activities of the State Fair. There are many highlights for young and old, ranging from the grandstand shows to the rides to the delicious food. And let’s not forget the agricultural exhibits, including the largest pumpkin contest. Agriculture is Missouri’s leading industry and there is no better celebration of that than the State Fair.
As a youngster, I looked forward to going with my family for our annual visit to the State Fair. We enjoyed going to the 4-H building where, if my sister or I were fortunate enough to win the purple ribbon for one of our projects at the county fair, we would have those projects judged at the State Fair. I still have the blue (and red!) ribbons I earned at State Fairs in years past. We would then walk through the livestock barns to see all the freshly manicured cattle ready to enter the show ring. When she was a little girl, my mom showed cattle. And my grandfather was a Hereford judge for many years, even judging at the American Royal. So, it was always fun seeing these beautiful animals and appreciating all the work involved and the dedication young people invest in their projects. We would walk through the farm equipment lots to see “the new and the latest” that my dad might want to put on his ‘wish list’ for our farm and occasionally we’d watch a food demonstration in the Home Economics Building. We always enjoyed topping off the day with a fresh homemade lemonade or ice cream cone from the Midway before heading home hot and tired, but full of good memories.
The Missouri State Fair was a highlight for me then and it still is now – just as it is for so many Missourians of all ages. A trip to the State Fair gives folks a chance to say “hello” to ranchers and farmers who are involved in various areas of agriculture and to learn about the work that goes into maintaining our safe, affordable and plentiful supply of food.
This has been a tough year for many producers who have had to suffer through severe drought conditions that dried up farmers’ crops and had ranchers scrambling to find water for their livestock. I am pleased that the U.S. House, before we left Washington for the August recess, passed an emergency disaster relief package that will be helpful for livestock producers. The package reinstates three livestock programs that expired in the fall of 2011 and will help reimburse livestock farmers for purchases of hay or grain or for the unexpected loss of livestock due to the severe drought.
I’ll tell you more about my visit to the State Fair in next week’s newsletter. Until then, I encourage you and your family to plan a day at the State Fair. You’ll enjoy your time at the Fair and your children will make memories that last a lifetime. You can get more information on the State Fair at www.mostatefair.com.
State Fair time always comes as parents, students and teachers are making “back to school” preparations. As we close out this week’s newsletter I want to reach out to Fourth District educators. As a former teacher who taught in Lebanon and Belton for 11 years, I realize teaching is not an easy task and I am thankful for the many dedicated people who teach our children and provide them with the best education possible. I want you to be aware of what the Library of Congress has to offer teachers preparing for the upcoming 2012-1013 school year. These materials can be of great benefit to schools in our Fourth District and across the country.
The Library of Congress has more than 150 million items in holding, including maps, manuscripts, audio recordings, lesson plans and more. The materials are free and available on the Library of Congress website at www.loc.gov. There is also a teachers’ section which can be accessed by going to www.loc.gov/teachers. I hope you will take advantage of this valuable resource.
Let me remind you that your views and thoughts are always welcome. If you’re in Washington, please stop into our office at 1023 Longworth House Office Building. In the district, we would love to have you visit any of our offices in Jefferson City, Harrisonville, Lebanon and Sedalia. You can also follow us by going to our website at www.hartzler.house.gov where you can link to our pages on Facebook and Twitter. I am honored to serve you.
Have a good week,