Join us for our Food & Farming Exhibit 

during the

“Great Minnesota Get-Together!”

August 22 - September 2, 2024


For fifteen years, Renewing the Countryside has curated an interactive, educational food & farming exhibit at the MN State Fair Eco Experience Building. The award-winning sustainability expo draws over 250,000 people during the twelve days of the fair. Our exhibit includes kids activities, three daily cooking demonstrations, and local food sampling, as well as a poster display on our theme of the year (more on that below)!


Pictured above: Brit Williams, founder of P&TY Granola (it stands for Please & Thank You!), offering samples with us in 2023

Sign up to Volunteer with us! 

Whether it’s handing out samples of dishes from our featured chefs, facilitating engaging activities celebrating MN-grown produce or lending a hand with food prep, volunteering at the Fair is a rewarding experience that helps to connect fairgoers with vital information about supporting local food systems and a more resilient future. Volunteers also get perks—an admittance ticket to the State Fair for the day you volunteer and an RTC limited-edition ‘local food’ organic cotton t-shirt!

Volunteer shifts are an average of three hours and are available in shifts from 9am to 7:30pm.




2024 Theme: Agroforestry

With the help of our sponsors, HeathPartners and the Savanna Institute, our 2024 exhibit will center on the theme of Agroforestry. 

As climate change continues to pose a threat to our food systems, sustainable agricultural practices have the power to mitigate and even reverse those threats. Agroforestry is a particularly effective practice as it integrates trees, perennials, pasture, and even native species into more traditional farming practices. Renewing the Countryside’s Agroforestry exhibit will show how these systems create resilient food production and will explore ways we can all contribute to these sustainable systems.

Daily Schedule Overview

  • 8am-8pm - Agroforestry exhibit, local produce-themed kids activities and more!
  • 11-3pm: RTC’s FEAST! farmers and food-makers will be sampling their newest and most celebrated products!
  • 11am, 1pm, 3pm: celebrated chefs, food-makers and cooks from across Minnesota will be demonstrating how to make their favorite recipes using Minnesotan ingredients, sharing samples and stories.
  • 7pm - movie screenings (with local popcorn) 

More details coming soon!


2024 Cooking Demonstration Schedule - coming soon
All demos take place at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm



2024 Schedule of Sampler Partners - coming soon






2023 Theme: Preserving Farmland for a Resilient Future

With more farmers aging out of farming and the increased repurposing of farmland for other uses, studies show 40% of MN farmland will be in a state of transition over the next 10-15 years.

While the cost of land continues to rise, so do the legitimate concerns on how land use will impact our soil, water and air, as well as food access and economic resilience in communities around the state. Thankfully, we've seen that people across Minnesota want to see an increase in farmland access for beginning and emerging farmers. We know that getting more farmers on the land will help strengthen local markets, communities and our ecosystem alike.

Renewing the Countryside’s Preserving Farmland for a Resilient Future exhibit uplifts these ideas and explores ways that we can address this pressing and increasingly urgent issue together.   

The exhibit features storytelling that speaks to issues and solutions around farmland preservation and resilience playing out today and what we hope to see in the future. True to the theme, the array of activities we're coordinating also features Minnesota farmers and food-makers who will be sampling their products, hands-on activities for kids to learn more about MN-grown produce, daily demonstrations by celebrated Minnesotan chefs who will teach us their favorite recipes using MN ingredients, daily movie and local popcorn nights, and more! 






2022 Theme: Farm to Early Care, Farm to School

Our children are our future!

We're so thrilled to be able to work with a variety of Early Care providers, connecting them with healthy food from local farms, as well as Pint Size Produce information and activities. That's why these programs are called "Farm to Early Care and Education"! When you visit this year's Healthy Local Food Exhibit, you'll be able to see spotlights on some of these providers and the inspiring images of children in gardens. 



There are so many great books that can help children learn about gardening, local food, and where our food comes from. Here's a list of farm to early care books by BIPOC authors that we recommend as an easy way to approach food topics.




Past Healthy Local Food Exhibits

2021 Summary Report and Climate Change display

2019 Summary Report and Artisan Grain Exhibition display

2018 Summary Report and Best If Used exhibit display

2017 Summary Report and Organic exhibit display

2016 Summary Report and Forever Green exhibit display

2015 Summary Report and AGRIculture exhibit display

2014 Summary Report and Grow A Farmer Overview

2013 Summary Report


Gallery of past exhibits: see photos of the 2015 and 2016 Local Food Exhibits here 

Favorite fair recipes from our Chef Demonstrations here