A postcard from the Missouri State Fair
This week for the show, I went to the Missouri State Fair and all you’re getting is this audio postcard.
First, I talked to Marlys Peck, who, along with her family, has been selling corn dogs at the fair for more than 41 years. Every year, Peck and her parents spend the state-fair week under the same tree near the historic Womens Building.
"I grew up under this tree," Peck says. "In a sense, yeah. I was 8 when we started. I love this tree, if anything happened to it, lightning, if they took it down, I'd be so upset."
Peck teaches social work at the University of Central Missouri.
Next, at the fair's poultry show, I watched as one guy kept pulling chickens out of their tiny cages and putting them back in. Steve Jones turned out to be a certified judge with the American Poultry Association. Jones came all the way to Missouri from Texas and says he gets to travel a lot for his job.
"It's like a second childhood," Jones said. "I get to meet cool new people and look at beautiful birds."
Next, I went to the fair's massive swine barn and met Elissa Hoyt, a young woman who's passionate about agricultural education. In addition to showing me where the ham is located on a hog ("The top of their back legs," she said. "You mean its butt?" I asked. "Yeah, its butt. I was trying to be nice," she said), she also taught me that pigs love marshmallows.
If you ever have the opportunity to feed marshmallows to a hog, all you have to do is tap the hog's snout with the marshmallow and it will open its mouth to welcome the food.