September 1, 2010
Food for Thought at the State Fair

(State Fair 2010 | Photos by Kristin Hess)

Sixteen days of deep fried butter, elephant ears and the nationally recognized doughnut burger we’ve heard so much about. Now that’s a lot of Food for Thought at the 2010 Indiana State Fair!

The unmistakeable relationship between food and the Indiana State Fair has become so deep that the two are often referred to as synonymous with each other.  Such a relationship, needless to say, provides an ideal framework for our Food for Thought traveling exhibition.

Preceding the fair was our storytelling contest. We had excellent participation and look forward to posting the winners early next week! This year’s fair celebrated the “Year of Pigs,” and with a coloring contest, recipe trail, wonder glass trail, raffle, wheel of ag(riculture) and of course, our Story Silo, we kept thousands of visitors busy and stocked with prizes for a full 16 days of fun.

We set up our Food for Thought traveling exhibit in the FFA Pavilion, where there was a constant flow of visitors, despite temperatures exceeding 90 degrees for nine days!  From FFA members to farmers to foodies, this crowd was enthusiastic, interested and excited about food.

I learned a lot about our state’s diversity, particularly through the lens of agriculture, and can proudly say that I’m proud to live in a place where so much diversity exists. Several farmers recognized neighbors and friends among our featured farmers, while others eagerly expressed opinions and hopes about the future of Indiana food culture. It’s remarkable how one person’s career and livelihood is built around something that someone else, often just a few miles away, has never seen or experienced.

Every time we travel and interact with Hoosiers, it’s increasingly clear how enormous and diverse the topic of food can be. The State Fair is unique in that it magnifies this reality through providing interactions on an enormous scale. Bring able to participate in this deep source of Hoosier pride and summer tradition was truly rewarding.

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