Florida is home to numerous events that enhance ag literacy in a fun, innovative and unforgettable way. Whether it’s giving kids a chance to learn about agriculture outside of the classroom or reconnecting adults with the land, there are many benefits to attending local ag events. So add these following dates to your calendar and get prepared to have an amazing time while learning something new about the wonderful world of agriculture.
Kissimee Valley Livestock Show and Osceola County Fair, Kissimee
February 8-17, 2019
Gates Open: Monday – Thursday at 5 p.m.
Friday – Sunday at 12 p.m.
Steeped in tradition and committed to agricultural roots, the Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show and Osceola County Fair will be celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2019 – and it promises another year of fantastic foods, exciting entertainment and agricultural appreciation.
“There is nowhere else in Central Florida that you feel the nostalgia of a real county fair other than right here in Osceola County. There is a real sense of community here. Many of our volunteers and exhibitors are third and fourth generations, and their families were the founding members of the organization. It is important for us to continue to preserve the agricultural, historical and cultural legacy of Osceola County, and at the same time, support and give back to our community through scholarships and awards,” says Stacey Wade, CFE, director of special events and education, Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show and Osceola County Fair.
In keeping with that “fair feel,” guests can enjoy a range of activities from truck and tractor pulls and draft horse pulls, to a pie-eating contest and ag education exhibits and displays. However, there are also some more recent favorites coming back this year.
“We opened the H.A.Y.L.O.F.T. (Helping All Youth Learn of Farming and Technology) last year, which is an 11,000-square-foot interactive, hands-on, agricultural education exhibit where our guests can milk a cow, brush a lamb, pick oranges, gather eggs, compete in the pony races (on pony cycles) and even navigate their way through the hay maze on their peddle tractors. The H.A.Y.L.O.F.T. was a huge hit and we plan on expanding the exhibit to include more stations this year, including a garden and science lab,” adds Wade.
But no matter what new attractions may come, this county fair’s mission will stay the same: educating guests about the importance of agriculture.
Wade’s hope is that “the next time our guests are in the grocery store, they shop with intention – intention to purchase Florida oranges and tomatoes – and a deeper appreciation for where their food comes from. Then we’ve done our job well.”