Dear Fellow Nebraskans:
Summer is a great time to connect with the fairs and festivals held across our state. Nebraska's county fairs offer an outstanding opportunity to showcase the best of our state and highlight the agricultural heritage, achievements and talents of Nebraska producers, youth and hobbyists.
Nebraska is home to 90 unique county fairs that offer a variety of experiences and traditions for families to enjoy. Box Butte, Dodge, Franklin and Madison Counties just concluded county fairs that featured livestock show competitions, demolition derbies and championship rodeo competitions. Cedar, Fillmore, Frontier, Jefferson, Kearney, Platte, and Webster Counties all have county fairs beginning this weekend.
These and dozens of other county events will be held through mid-August and into September in several parts of the state.
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 empowers young people to reach their full potential by working and learning in partnership with caring adults. The FFA makes a difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. These missions are on display at our county fairs.
I continue to be impressed with the young people of our state. For those participating in county fair events, their determination, dedication and drive learned through fair projects is superb. Young people work on and share projects in a wide range of interests, from rocketry, technology, wildlife, photography, woodworking, and more. Thousands of others invest significant time and energy in learning to care for livestock. More than 135,000 youth participate in the 4-H program. More than 6,500 youth participate in FFA programs.
County fairs offer our young people the opportunity to showcase their achievements of the past year, while also offering fairgoers an opportunity to experience family friendly entertainment -- from rodeos and tractor pulls, to pie-baking contests, concerts and musical performances.
If it's your first visit to a fair, or whether you are a regular participant, I encourage you and your family to visit one of Nebraska's county fairs this year. A complete listing is available online from the Nebraska Association of Fair Managers at www.nebraskafairs.org.
The more than one million people who attend Nebraska's fairs and festivals each year can attest to the quality of life Nebraska has to offer. Our county fairs and festivals are an opportunity to experience the traditions and culture that make Nebraska a great place to live.