Nebraska State Fair is underway

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Nebraska State Fair is underway

Greeley County, Nebraska 4-Her Gavin Dozler preps his calf for showing at the Nebraska State Fair.

A slimmed-down version Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island is underway in Grand Island.

Youth and open livestock shows are being held, the Raising Nebraska building is open, and there are many outdoor commercial exhibits and food vendors.  However, there is no carnival or big-name entertainment this year.

At the opening ceremony on Saturday, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts thanked the fair board for proceeding with the fair even though several other Midwestern states cancelled theirs.  Ricketts told Brownfield the fair is an important showcase for Nebraska agriculture.

“It’s important to celebrate agriculture because this the heart and soul of what we do here in Nebraska,” Ricketts says. “This is our number one industry. This is what grows our state. And this is what puts food on the table for, not only Nebraskans, but Americans all across this country.”

The new executive director of the state fair, Bill Ogg, has only been on the job for a little over two months, but says he likes what he sees.

“I’ve met hundreds of people since I’ve been here and everyone has either said they love the fair or ‘man, I like the fair’. And no one has had anything other than that to say,” Ogg says. “So that’s very humbling and very motivating.”

Ogg says numbers in the various 4-H and FFA livestock shows are about 80 percent of normal, while entries in the open class beef show will be down by about 50 percent.

AUDIO: Governor Pete Ricketts
AUDIO: Bill Ogg