113th National Cattle Congress wraps up fair season

by | Sep 21, 2023 | 5 Ag Stories, News

Wrapping up County Fair and Festival season in Iowa and what a fitting grand finale. One of the most traditional events is the National Cattle Congress. The 113th National Cattle Congress runs through Sunday on the north side of Waterloo and Jim Koch, General Manager, says they have as you’d expect a lot going on.

“We start off with our Dairy show, we have a record number here this year of about 300 dairy cattle coming from Iowa and the surrounding states around Iowa. That’ll go on all day and then at night we have Tracy Lawrence and Chris Cagle as our big entertainment inside the Hippodrome at seven o’clock.  In addition, there’s all kinds of other free entertainment and all that great fair food and all weekend long.”

It certainly is a fitting way to wrap up the 106 county fairs and festivals held each summer across the state of Iowa. Plus, the National Cattle Congress also is embarking on an improvement project.

“We’re just doing the preliminary plans. We have a display inside of our exhibit hall here, Estel Hall, where it kind of gives you a visual of what it could possibly be like. And yeah, we want to look for the future. We’ve been here for 113 years, we’re seeing the need to move forward.  We want to leave something for the next 113 years as well for those kids and as they grow up and bring their children here to us.”

Absolutely leave something for the next generation.  Now, Jim mentioned this year does mark the return of the concert series to the National Cattle Congress, which as I mentioned is the final of Iowa’s county fairs and festivals.  Nearly 3 million people attended one of Iowa’s 106 county fairs and festivals this summer with an economic impact in the hundreds of billions of dollars.