Most of us know the State Fair of Texas for its Corny Dogs and Midway games. But since its founding in 1886, the State Fair has focused its core mission on agriculture and livestock education. Visitors can get up close and personal with animals, watch cow milking demonstrations and have a little bit of fun at the pig races while learning about the importance of farming and ranching.
More than 5,000 students participate in State Fair of Texas livestock contests and events every year.
But for those that don't have an animal to show, here are six ways to encounter the livestock and animals at the fair. Check the daily schedule for times and locations!
1. Not Your Average Dog and Pony Show
The Dallas Police Department Mounted Unit calls Fair Park home. During the fair, officers offer demonstrations in the Pan Am Barn with the horses and their canine companions. Learn about training techniques and ask questions about the animals and their work with the Dallas Police. These demonstrations are held in the Ranch Arena.
2. Got Milk?
Have you ever wondered what it's like to milk a cow? Local farmers bring dairy cows for educational exhibits on modern milking procedures and demonstrations.
3. See where they live
See the animals up close! There are tours of the housing areas where the animals are kept and cared for. Resident student experts are standing by to answer your questions.
4. One Horse Power
Maybe your dad never bought you a pony when you were little. So now's the time to experience horses for yourself! There are a variety of horse breeds from Texas stables and equestrian centers for demonstrations and showings. The experts are all on hand to show off their impressive knowledge about these incredible animals.
5. Learn the basics
Teach your kids all the sounds animals make by hearing them first-hand! Big Tex's farm yard hosts calves, piglets, chicks and other farmyard animals. Learn about what it takes to feed an entire farm and care for the animals. There are even photo opportunities to keep your memory of meeting these cute farm friends.
6. Get into a little farming
Kids can also try their hand at farming. The miniature farm gets little ones involved with planting seeds, gathering eggs, and even driving the (kid-sized) tractor! Their earnings from a successful day of farming can be used to purchase a snack at the general store.