Catch the Agriculture Shows at This Year’s Expo
The Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition is a not-for-profit organization that promotes agricultural education in South Florida. Its Fair Expo Center features 5,950 square feet of exhibit and event space, including three auditoriums that seat thousands. (The largest, Arnold Hall, can hold 7,460.)
Throughout the year, these spaces host concerts, trade shows, and sporting events, but the Fair Expo Center exists primarily because its grounds are home to the largest fair in Florida each March.
The Miami-Dade County Youth Fair lasts 21 days and draws around 550,000 visitors. In addition to carnival rides, live music, and craft and food exhibitions, the Youth Fair includes livestock shows and agricultural competitions. This year’s fair is March 12 through April 4.
The Mission: Promote Agriculture
The Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition has contributed over $11 million in scholarship, community enrichment projects, and awards to young farmers since its founding in 1952. Over half a million of those contributions were made in 2018 alone. About 63,000 budding agriculture enthusiasts participate in youth livestock shows and competitions each year.
The Agriculture Exhibitors
Registration is already closed for this year’s exhibitors, but it’s never too early to prepare for next year. To register, simply fill out the single page electronic entry form before mid-November of 2020 (youth lamb, steer, or market hog competitors) or mid-January of 2021 (all other competitors).
Plant show categories include horticulture and landscape design. Livestock categories include horses, market hogs, dairy goats, lambs, market steer, cavies (guinea pigs), poultry, and rabbits. Youth exhibitors keep track of their animal’s growth, expenses, and appreciation via downloadable record books. Download the Youth Exhibitors Handbook.
The Open Cattle Show
The Open Cattle Show is all about bovines. If you know a youth interested in breeding cattle and taking part in an official ring show, this is their opportunity. The registration deadline is in mid-January each year, and applicable breeds include:
- Santa Getrudis
You can also show dairy cattle. Visit the Open Cattle Show page to download the handbook, entry forms, and official rules and regulations.
Are you a young master baker? An artist, dancer, or musician? A scrapbooker, writer, or computer coder? Youth can showcase many skills and talents at the Youth Fair.
Display a mastery of foreign languages; build something from wood, plastic, or metal; or take an amazing aerial photo with a drone or a well-composed on-the-ground shot with a camera, and you may win an award! The Youth Fair exists to promote agriculture, but it supports talents of all kind.
More Things to Do at the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair
The Youth Fair boasts more than 100 carnival rides and plenty of funnel cakes, turkey legs, quesadillas, fried Oreos, and other midway foods. There are beer stands for the adults and live music. Circus variety shows, fun houses, and haunted houses will entertain the young and young at heart. Performing arts and games are also a huge part of the event.
Many South Floridians look forward to the Fair every year. Catch a few livestock shows, check out the animals, and then head out to the midway and join the rest of the excitement!