2022 South Dakota State Fair underway in Huron

Updated: Sep. 1, 2022 at 8:30 PM CDT
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HURON, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The walkways and exhibit halls were busy for the for the first day of the 2022 South Dakota State Fair. For some, the fair is an annual tradition, coming back year after year to see old faces. For others, it’s an opportunity to introduce themselves to the rest of the state.

There’s always new faces at the State Fair each year, coming to the fairgrounds for the first time. But there’s others that make the fair an annual tradition like Ellen Halter, who’s been coming to the State Fair for about 80 years.

“Since then, I’ve worked at every place practically on the fair. A lot of food buildings, a lot of the other buildings. It’s all interesting, and you meet so many people from all over everywhere. And I love it! Come to the fair.” Halter said.

Some of those new faces those are budding businesses in the State. Thursday’s day sponsor was the South Dakota Value Added Ag Development Center. The organization helps businesses looking take goods already made in the state like crops and livestock, and process those into South Dakota-made products ready for shelves.

“We have a lot of small companies that are doing this. So they create a job or two in our rural communities, spin that money out there. Sell their product within South Dakota to consumers, and to retail and restaurants and things like that.” VAADC Executive Director Cheri Rath said.

Rath said getting their name out there and the name of the businesses they help will only grow the state’s agriculture industry, further increasing what goods come out of the state.

“We help each other out. We help the state out as a whole by having that money trickle through. And for our farmers and producers.” Rath said.

That’s a big help for Sandy Eschenbacher with Badlands Distillery in Kadoka. She said more South Dakota-made products is a plus for them, and allows them to showcase all the state has with their own space.

“To me, it’s the more the merrier and we’re better together. I just love having our store, our distillery has South Dakota cheese, and now we have wine made in South Dakota. Beer and snacks that I didn’t even know South Dakota made snacks.” Eschenbacher said.