Growing Illinois is 2015 Illinois State Fair theme

Fair IMG_0719State Fair Manager Patrick Buchen says the theme for the 2015 Illinois State Fair is Growing Illinois. “Growing Illinois” is an all-­encompassing theme that goes well beyond the rows in a cornfield. It speaks to the hard ­working men and women in Illinois who help feed and clothe this great nation, ­ultimately growing the State’s economy.

“Agriculture is the number one industry in Illinois, and we need to continue to grow the industry. One of the ways to go about this is telling the story of agriculture and educating consumers through the Illinois State Fair,” said Agriculture Director Philip Nelson. “We want moms and dads who have no farming experience to come to the fair and gain more information about where the food comes from that they feed to their families, and the amount of work that goes into ­bringing food from Illinois farms to ­dinner tables.”

The 2015 Illinois State Fair will showcase Illinois agriculture in new ways. The focus will be more than the crops in the ground. A spotlight will be put on the youth who spend ­countless hours ­preparing 4-H projects and raising livestock in hopes of showing a grand ­champion. Additionally, attention will be given to the ­thousands of agri-businesses located in the Land of Lincoln who help drive this billion ­dollar industry. In this day and age of “shared sacrifice” we need to grow the industries that have a proven track record of bringing dollars into this state.

One of Buchen’s top ­priorities is fostering agriculture ­education. “My mission statement is simple. I believe the Illinois State Fair is here to enhance agriculture through education and enlightenment in a safe and fun ­environment,” said Buchen. “The state fair will still have all the ­traditions that Illinois families have come to love, but we want to bring a renewed focus of agriculture back to the Illinois State Fair.”

The Illinois State Fair runs August 13th-23rd in Springfield.