SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sarah VanDerVliet has been entering her animals in the Sioux Empire Fair livestock show since she was nine.
“Anybody that exhibits, they’re here to basically produce the best quality animal that we can and they’re here to pridefully show off what they’ve worked for all summer long,” VanDerVliet said.
A summer that’s never easy, but is always worth it when show time rolls around.
“This is our family vacation,” VanDerVliet said.
A much-needed one after the difficulty of the past Spring. It’s something members of the Sioux Empire Fair noticed as well.
“We saw, and talked to, and learned first-hand, you know, it’s a very serious deal that affects families, it affects the emotions and it affects their bottom line for the year,” President of the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds Scott Wick said.
Originally, costs to enter livestock was anywhere from $10 to $30, but this year the fair decided they will be waiving entry fees for all farmers who will be entering their livestock.
“They take a lot of time and effort and monetary investment in that, and we didn’t want to see those young individuals not have a place to show,” Wick said.
While the Minnehaha County 4-H Club and Future Farmers of America host their own shows during the fair,
The fair’s own open-class shows will be free and that will continue for future shows to come.
“So when we can come to a fair and they can support us and we can come here knowing that they’re willing to give us a little bit of a break because we’ve had a tough year, it’s a really good feeling,” VanDerVliet said.
Wick is hoping this will give future farmers a chance to show off their stock. And leaving the barn wide open for many more generations to come.
“Just to say ‘thank you’ and help them out. That’s the beauty of the Midwest. That’s why we live in the great city of Sioux Falls and Minnehaha County and that’s what we do: we help each other out,” Wick said.
The fair is still going on up until this Saturday on August 10th