Fairs are a great way to spend a summer or fall afternoon, but according to a recent study, those fairs are also a big contributor to the local and state economy. A recent report, conducted by Seattle-based Community Attributes, found that at the end of 2021, Ag fairs generate almost $400 million annually. The report added those fairs also create thousands of job as well.


Megan Finkenbinder with the Washington state Department of Agriculture said local fairs are also about family and community. She pointed to livestock shows. Some may see these shows as an opportunity to get a “cheap animal", but really she pointed out, it’s the community’s way of supporting young people passionate about animal ag.

“These kids are our next generation of farmers, and what they get to see is their local communities and their local businesses coming out to support them by purchasing their animals.  I feel this is a very significant way of encouraging that next generation of farmers and getting out kids interested in agriculture.”

Finkenbinder added local fairs also serve as a great to share the story of farming with those not familiar with Ag.

“But really have that opportunity to be educated on just how that food came to be on their plates.  You know, that’s really why I think we should all support our local fairs, Ag community, non-Ag community, really all of us.”

When taking a look at 2019 numbers:

  • More than 3.3 million people visited fairs.
  • 68,000 exhibitors participated, including many from out of state.
  • 5,600 volunteers helped staff fairs statewide
  • And fairs generated $10 million in tax revenues 

Click Here to read the entire report Community Attributes.

More From PNW Ag Network