Each year hundreds of thousands of people attend the Iowa State Fair wondering up and down the busy roads and venturing through the livestock barns.

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These livestock barns showcase all the hard work and dedication that 4-H and FFA youth put into their animals all year. The barns are a symbol of Iowa’s agricultural heritage.

However, some of the barns, such as the Cattle, Horse, Sheep, and Swine barns haven’t been renovated on a large since they were first built. This is all about to change as the barns are slated to undergo a multi-million-dollar renovation project.

Gary Slater, Iowa State Fair VEO and Fair Manager says the project will help continue Iowa’s agriculture legacy.

The Iowa State Fair has a legacy of high-quality livestock and premier livestock shows. The historic barn renovations will give generations of Fairgoers the opportunity to continue the timeless tradition of showing livestock at the Iowa State Fair.

Following the conclusion of the 2022 Iowa State Fair, the Blue-Ribbon Foundation announced that over the next few years, the livestock barns on the fairgrounds will be undergoing a $25 million renovation project. The barns will be renovated “top to bottom” updating the roofing, lighting, flooring, restrooms, and offices. The barns will also have additional upgrades added to them that have yet to be announced.

According to a press release, the Blue Ribbon Foundation has received a $5 million donation from Richard O. Jacobson Foundation to start the project.  A donation of $2 million was committed from Iowa Select Farms and Jeff & Deb Hansen for the swine barn. Another $12 million will come from the state’s “Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund.”

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