Missouri State Fair

A handler and a hog compete for the blue ribbon at the 2013 Colorado State Fair.
file: Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Showing livestock at the county fair can be a great source of pride for a youngster in farm country. It can also be a source of a novel flu virus capable of starting a pandemic.

According to new findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18 people – 16 of them children – tested positive for strains of influenza never before seen in humans after attending agricultural fairs in Ohio and Michigan in August of this year.

Justin Schultis

The Missouri State Fair starts in Sedalia this Thursday, and the Kansas State Fair is close behind, opening on September 5th. In addition to giant funnel cakes and whirling carnival rides, the State Fairs have a more serious side: competition. On Monday's Up to Date, host Steve Kraske speaks with past and present state fair champions to find out what brings them back year after for that blue ribbon.

Gov. Jay Nixon says he is heartened by the response of both Republicans and Democrats to the controversial rodeo clown act this weekend at the Missouri State Fair.

Nixon condemned a rodeo clown who impersonated President Obama, while an announcer asked the crowd if they wanted to see Obama get run down by a bull.

Speaking in Cape Girardeau, Nixon said the performance did not reflect the values of Missourians or the state fair.