State and county fairs hold a unique position in modern society. With deep ties to farming, ranching and America’s agriculture background, visiting a modern fair provides a connection to the past.
With a rich history dating as far back as the early 1800s, fairs began as an opportunity for rural families to share the latest agricultural techniques, equipment, crops and livestock. It didn’t take long before regional fairs began incorporating a wide variety of social and educational activities. Within a few decades, state and county fairs became destinations to celebrate human progress: technology, animal sciences, education and more.In the early days of fairs, funding was provided by local ranchers and business people. Beginning in 1840 state legislatures across the country began forming agricultural boards and allocating funds for state and county fairs. The first state fair, in Syracuse, New York, in 1841, attracted more than 15,000 people. Before long all the states in the union followed suit and began funding their own local fairs. The Jackson County Fair was founded in 1859.