Awarding the Best

The California State Fair continues what is now 163 years of tradition in recognizing the state’s farmers, ranchers, and related agricultural machinery. The Open Livestock and Junior Livestock exhibits include beef cattle, sheep, swine, goats, dairy cattle and goats, longhorn cattle, llamas and alpaca competitions. The Fur & Feathers exhibit features smaller animals, allowing fairgoers a close-up look at multiple breeds of rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens and turkeys, exotic birds, and other diminutive creatures.  Cattle, sheep, goats and swine have been exhibited at annual state fairs since 1854. Their owners, by sharing experiences and experiments, fostered statewide improvements and innovation in livestock health and breeding. The same applied to horses. The horse barns, displays of equestrian showmanship, and horse racing have been favorite fixtures at the state fairs from the beginning. In days gone by, wagons, buggies, California-manufactured stagecoaches and horse-drawn farming implements won grand prizes. In more recent times, the Fair exhibits projects built by Future Farmers of America in their high school classrooms for the FFA Ag Mechanics Competition, such as light machinery, BBQ stands, livestock trailers, almond hullers, and wood projects.