LINCOLN, Nebraska -- Nebraska fairs and festivals showcase the best of Nebraska. Every summer Nebraskans have the opportunity to join together for fun and fellowship as they celebrate our state's agricultural heritage and achievements at county fairs all across Nebraska.
Home to 90 unique county fairs, Nebraska offers a variety of experiences and traditions for families to enjoy. We all have favorite fair memories that range from the smell of cotton candy, funnel cakes and corn dogs, the festive lights and music, or even the steady hum of clippers coming from the animal barns. The county fair has something to satisfy the kid in all of us.
During my time as Governor, I have had the opportunity to personally visit many county fairs across our great state. The thing that stands out about the county fairs I have attended is the participation from our 4-H and FFA youth.
The 4-H organization aims to empower youth to reach their full potential by working and learning in partnership with caring adults. The FFA organization is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. These missions are on display at our county fairs.
I am always impressed with Nebraska's young people. For those participating in county fair events, their determination, dedication and drive that they learn and demonstrate through fair projects is superb. Young people work on and share projects in a wide range of interests - rocketry, technology, wildlife, photography, woodworking, and so much more. It is truly inspiring. Also worth noting are the thousands of youth that invest significant time and "sweat equity" in their livestock. Nebraska is privileged to be home to 135,000 youth that participate in the 4-H program, and 6,500 youth that participate in the FFA program.
County fairs offer these youth the opportunity to showcase their achievements from the past year, while also offering fairgoers an opportunity to experience family friendly entertainment -- from rodeos and tractor pulls, to pie-baking contests and musical performances.
Whether it's your first time at a fair, or you are a regular participant, I encourage you to visit some of Nebraska's county fairs this year. A complete listing of fairs by visiting the Nebraska Association of Fair Managers website at www.nebraskafairs.org.
The more than one million people who attend Nebraska's fairs and festivals can attest to the great quality of life that Nebraska has to offer. No matter your age, Nebraska's fairs and festivals are an opportunity to experience the traditions and diverse culture that make Nebraska a great place to live.