Ridgeline Students Volunteer to help the Utah Food Bank at the Utah State Fair


Brayden Cascio

The annual Utah State Fair is an event that has been held nearly every year since 1856, forty years before Utah was even a state. It starts every year on the Thursday following Labor Day, lasts for eleven days, and takes place in Salt Lake City’s Fair Park. This year’s festivities were held between Thursday September 8th and Sunday the 18th.

There are a variety of things to do and see with the central focus on Utah’s agriculture, hence this year’s theme “Find Your Agventure”. It’s similar to a county fair but on a larger scale and has people from all over and even outside of the state attending.

This year 30 people from Ridgeline’s FFA chapter left the school at 1:00 and rode a bus to the state fair and volunteered in the dairy section to help with the fair’s ice cream festival. Mrs. Leonard, an Ag teacher at Ridgeline and an FFA advisor for the school’s FFA, says that she was very happy about the student turnout for the fair and that if space had allowed, more could have come.

When asked what she did at the fair, Jordyn Abel said, “We helped serve ice cream for Dairy West” and, “I thought it was a lot of fun.”  The ice cream cost three dollars per person and all of the profits from the ice cream festival went to the Utah Food bank.

There are many educational areas at the fair such as the Little Hands on the Farm educational walkthrough, intended to teach kids more about agriculture. Things such as, where and how we get our food or the Department of Wildlife Resource’s building that teaches about wildlife management are just a few examples of education opportunities. The livestock portion of the fair takes up a large part of the fair grounds. There you can see beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats, and swine.

The fair has other activities to do like the carnival rides in the middle of the fairgrounds and things like live music playing to watch and listen to throughout the day. The north side is where many people sell different goods in booths like clothing, toys, and other various items. There are also different food trucks and vendors all over the fairgrounds to buy food and drinks from.

Many exhibits throughout the fair hold different art galleries that showcase photography, drawn and painted pieces, floriculture, quilts, and this year’s butter cow sculpture: an 800 lb. sculpture of cows skiing down a buttery slope. Located in some of the same buildings are food exhibits showing different fruits and vegetables as well as breads, cakes, canned items, and other homemade foods.

The chance to go to the State fair is a great opportunity. “It’s always good to advocate for agriculture” and to teach people “how agriculture impacts their lives” says Mrs. Leonard. When asked if she’d recommend other people and students visit the fair Mrs. Leonard simply replied, “Absolutely!” Jordyn offered a similar response of, “Yes, one hundred and ten percent!”