Family, Fun, and Farm the Focus for State Fair Board


The stage is set for the biggest event in the state, the Nebraska State Fair, where they promise a "bumper crop of fun."

This year's theme is a nod to the fair's focus on agriculture, something on display in the new building.

The fair is all about fun, family, and farm. From the bright lights and big rides, to the biggest livestock shows around, the State Fair is a celebration of Nebraska, especially the hard working farm and ranch families who raise our food.

"That's what strides here in Nebraska is ag and we need to spotlight that," said Dan Kunnemann, a fair board member from Imperial.

Nebraska's land and farms are the focus of the $5 million Nebraska Building.

"To teach not just kids but adults how proud we are of these people raising food for the entire country," board chair Jana Kruger said.

Kunneman said, "All the way from putting the seed in the ground to what happens when that seed matures, to where it goes when you go to the grocery store, see everything over there."

Overseeing the fair is a 13 member board. The governor selects four members, seven come from the county fair ranks, and one each from 4-H and FFA.

In their quest to continually improve things, another focus this year is the bottom line.

Kruger said, "We always get a few letters, 'I can't bring my family -- it's too expensive,' and we wanted to offer it to everybody."

So they made the first morning of the fair free, along with a $2 Tuesday promotion.

Serving on the fair board isn't an honorary thing, board members take on jobs like organizing daily parades and troubleshooting where needed.

Dan Kunneman said, "Seems like it gets easier every year, but always some humps in the road."

They do it because they love a good fair.

"Put in some long days, but you have to enjoy it and I enjoy it," Kunnemann said.

Those fair board members will meet daily during the fair to address any challenges that arise, and are already talking about plans for the future.