By Shala Watson

Summer is winding down and fair season is almost upon us!

The State Fair of Texas and county fairs across the state are gearing up. They’re a great way to spend time with family, promote agriculture and celebrate all things Texas.

The sights, sounds and tastes of agriculture are everywhere.

The best things about fair season in Texas? Here are my top five:

1. Old-fashioned food
Homemade apple pie and jams like grandma made. Roasted corn on the cob. All of these delights started with a farmer planting a seed.

2. Livestock shows
A dirt-filled show ring, the smell of fresh shavings a competitive buzz in the air are the tell-tale signs of a livestock show. 4-H and FFA members alike are ready to exhibit their animals after months of work.

3. Tractor shows
Tractors make big jobs like plowing, planting and harvest more efficient. But once they’ve been replaced by newer models, they can also be used for entertainment. They become prized models in tractor shows, or they show off their power in a tractor pull.

4. Calf scramble
It’s always a crowd favorite. The participant has to catch the calf and get it to the designated area in an allotted time period. Those that succeed earn money for future livestock projects.

5. Community
You can also find canned vegetables and fruits and locally grown products. Did you know the State Fair of Texas has used its resources and space to create Big Texas® urban farm? The farm’s raised planting beds produce fresh peppers, corn, peas, potatoes and more that is donated to local food banks and helps feed the homeless.

So when you’re looking for an activity to do with your family, head on down to your local county fair! Or visit one of the livestock shows across the state and see Texas Farm Bureau’s Planet Agriculture exhibit. There you can learn how a little bit of agriculture is in almost everything you do.