August 18, 2020 | By: Aimee Nielson
LEXINGTON, Ky.

Join the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment for 11 days of a Virtual State Fair, Aug. 20-30 on the college website at https://www.ca.uky.edu/statefair2020.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kentucky State Fair officials decided to close the fair to the general public, but that doesn’t mean Kentuckians can’t enjoy some of the same demonstrations and activities they would usually see in the college’s exhibit at AgLand.

“We have had to get creative in how we share information this year, and we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to educate and entertain the people we usually see during the Kentucky State Fair,” said Nancy Cox, dean of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “We hope to reach a diverse audience with our virtual events as we showcase the adaptive nature of our talented faculty, specialists and staff.”

Demonstrations and virtual tours will be offered on topics such as home gardening, production agriculture, forestry, equine, farm tours and 4-H activities. Staff with UK Cooperative Extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences will offer daily, live cooking demonstrations using Plate It Up Kentucky Proud recipes.

Here's a look at the schedule (all times EDT):

  • Thursday, Aug. 20
    • 10 a.m. -- Home Gardening: Jefferson County horticulture extension agent Bethany Pratt will teach viewers about fall vegetable gardening and the basics of home composting.
    • 11 a.m.: live cooking demo: eggplant parmesan rollatini
  • Friday, Aug. 21
    • 10 a.m. -- Get to Know MANRRS: Join student members of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences as they discuss the importance and benefits of the organization and why students should be involved in this and other organizations.
    • 11 am. – live cooking demo: making jalapeño poppers
  • Saturday, Aug. 22
    • 10 a.m. -- Corn Extrusion from Bourbon and High-Tech Agriculture: UK agricultural engineer Bode Adedeji will show potential ways to use waste material from the bourbon industry. He will also discuss how the college is bringing new tech to farmers and industry professionals.
    • 11 a.m. -- live cooking demo: easy cheesy eggplant
  • Sunday, Aug. 23
    • 11 a.m. – live cooking demo: watermelon tomato salad
    • 7 p.m. -- Tour the UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory: The UK VDL is a full-service animal health diagnostic facility. UK veterinary pathologist Dr. Uneeda Bryant will talk about the VDL’s work and why the lab is important to Kentucky's animal industry.
  • Monday, Aug. 24
    • 10 a.m. -- Discover Kentucky's Wood Utilization Center in Jackson. Visit Robinson Forest to learn how the center helps the state’s vital wood industry.
    • 11 a.m. -- live cooking demo: morning carrot muffins
  • Tuesday, Aug. 25
    • 10 a.m. -- Building a Home Composter: Biosystems and agricultural engineering extension associate Lee Moser will walk viewers through the steps of building a home composter for food and yard waste to make a nutrient-rich soil.
    • 11 a.m. – live cooking demo: farmer's market skillet bake
  • Wednesday, Aug. 26
    • 10 a.m. -- Experimental Vineyard: Viewers will learn how UK assistant horticulture professor Carlos Rodríguez López is using an experimental vineyard at UK’s Horticulture Research Farm to find ways to make Kentucky’s vineyards and wines better and brighter.
    • 11 a.m. – live cooking demo: very berry salsa
  • Thursday, Aug. 27
    • 10 a.m. – Track Surfaces Research: biosystems and agriculture engineering professor Mick Peterson will highlight his lab’s research into track surface safety. His team is testing the moisture content, surface compaction and bringing change to a worldwide industry and working with tracks to make the safest track possible for horse and rider.
    • 11 a.m. – live cooking demo: grilled pepper and portabella mushroom sandwich
  • Friday, Aug. 28
    • 10 a.m. – Tour the UK horticulture research farm; farm superintendent Steve Divers will guide viewers through the horticulture farm, unique organic production and various research projects.
    • 11 a.m. – live cooking demo: Tex Mex quinoa salad
  • Saturday, Aug. 29
    • 10 a.m. –Tour the UK Research and Education Center and the UK Grain and Forage Center of Excellence. Viewers will learn about the important research going on at these locations in Princeton and why it is so vital to Kentucky.
    • 11 a.m. – live cooking demo: scalloped okra and corn
  • Sunday, Aug. 30
    • 11 a.m. – live cooking demo: glazed cantaloupe bread
    • 7 p.m. – Entomology Zoo: UK entomologist Blake Newton will show off some live native Kentucky insects and talk about their attributes.

Virtual 4-H showcases will be available each day on topics such as horticulture, woodworking, geology, entomology, forestry and crops. Organizers will post links to the showcases each day on the 4-H Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/kentucky4h. UK Family and Consumer Sciences Extension will post additional content on the FCS Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/UKFCSExt.

Because visitors are not permitted on the Kentucky Stair Fair grounds, the fair will livestream the 4-H and FFA livestock shows beginning Aug. 20 at 8:30 a.m. EDT at https://kystatefair.org/livestock-show-live-stream/. The schedule is available at https://kystatefair.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Youth-Schedule-by-week-1.pdf.

Contact: 

Laura Skillman, lskillma@email.uky.edu