Central Florida Fair awards three scholarships to local youth


Each year the Central Florida Fair awards three $2500 scholarships to local youth who have participated in the Fair’s numerous agricultural and educational programs.

Congratulations to this years Central Florida Fair Scholarship recipients.

Janson Peralta, has been participating in the Central Florida Fair for five years in the youth Poultry and Rabbit programs and an active member of the Wranglers 4-H Club.  Janson also earned the coveted title of 2017 Reserve Champion Poultry Exhibitor.  She plans on attending Seminole State College in the Fall and becoming a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officer.

Sarah Young, has been a very active in the Central Florida Fair for four years; exhibiting rabbits, poultry, breeding sheep and market lambs. Sarah is a member of the East River FFA Chapter and a current member of the Central Florida Fair Junior Board.  She plans on attending the University of Florida and earning her degree in Agricultural Education.

Alexa Wandrey started her Central Florida Fair career in 2009 exhibiting a market hog; since then she has participated in the market steer, breeding heifers, and market laying hen programs. Alexa is a very active member of the Apopka FFA Chapter and the Central Florida Fair Junior Board.  She has been accepted to Conners State College in Warner, Texas and will be earning her degree in Agricultural Education.

Over the past 30 years the Central Florida Fair has awarded over $250,000 in scholarships to local Central Florida youth in addition to providing endowments to the University of Florida and Valencia College.


Submitted by: Stacey Wade, Director of Competitive Events & Education Operations





Central Florida Fair partners with Keep Orlando Beautiful to host Waste 2 Wonder at the annual Fair



The Central Florida Fair has partnered with Keep Orlando Beautiful and the National Independent Concessionaires Association (NICA) to host “Waste 2 Wonder” a recycled runway show featuring local youth designers. Each year Keep Orlando Beautiful hosts “Trash 2 Trends;” which is an adult runway fashion show which features designers who have created designs made completely out of materials that are headed to the landfill. “Trash 2 Trends” has become one of Orlando’s premier fashion events; the adult designers who have participated in “Trash 2 Trends” have been featured nationally for their incredible designs.  NICA has graciously donated additional materials to be used in the designs as well; such as straws, cups, foil, filters, plates, etc.  “This will be the first time NICA will have participated on this side of the fair,” said Stacey Wade, Director of Competitive Events and Education Operations.  “We have been looking for ways to involve NICA members who have concessions on our grounds during the Fair and this was it, it just made sense.”  Wade along with Kathy Ross (Ross Concessions) have been brainstorming for the past two years on how to integrate and involve NICA into the educational programming at local fairs.  “This event just fell into our laps,” Wade said, “Keep Orlando Beautiful has been wonderful to work with, we are basically Trash 2 Trends little sister!”  Waste 2 Wonder will feature local youth designers and models under the age of 18; all the material used in these designs must be headed to the landfill or recycling facility or have reached the end of their life.

The Central Florida Fair is extremely excited to host “Waste 2 Wonder” for  local youth designers and fashionistas; the event will take place on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at the Central Florida Fair.

For more information and to enter your “Waste 2 Wonder” design…please visit our link under the Creative Arts tab to register and enter your design viagrasansordonnancefr.com today!


Young Professionals Initiative Grant Awarded to the Central Florida Fair Junior Livestock Board

_MG_9880Across the state of Florida, there is a serious lack of agriculture teachers. “There are approximately 30 openings. A lack of ag teachers means a lack of programs,” says Stacy Sturgis, Junior Livestock Board Member at the Central Florida Fair, “There are no teachers to run the programs, schools can’t keep them open, and much less add new ones.” Sturgis, her colleagues Jacki Stough and Courtney Kelley, and other board members recognize the lack of programs and are motivated to make an impact in the industry.

The Junior Livestock Board members seized the opportunity and got together to brainstorm ideas for the Young Professionals Initiative grant provided by the Florida Federation of Fairs; this grant program provides $500 to Fairs who want to embark on a new service project.

The idea
Sturgis, Stough, Kelley and other board members saw a need to expose at-risk youth to agriculture through rabbits and cavies (guinea pigs). “Exposing kids to animals teaches them certain levels of responsibility, including communications, money and time management, ethics, and even professionalism,” says Sturgis. The program will provide youth with the animal, feed, and housing in order to care for at least six months until the 2017 Central Florida Fair. CFF Junior Livestock Board Members “will also provide educational programming in animal care and management, feed, nutrition, showmanship skills, record keeping, and mentoring,” says Stough. She continues on to say that the students will have the opportunity to show their animal at the Fair and earn prize money, ribbons, and awards for their project.

The results
The board members got the grant! Now, the real work begins. The board will develop budgets for the program, working with other sponsors to cover any extra costs. This means that at least 25 kids will get to experience taking care of an animal at home, recording their progress, and receive mentoring from the Junior Livestock Board; they will begin pitching the program to local YMCA’s and hopefully garner a little extra support as well.

The Junior Livestock Board
Made up of young professionals in the industry, the Junior Livestock Board is responsible for developing and executing new programs, fundraising, S.T.E.A.M. activities and so much more. They not only work during the Fair – these students are also taking part in Live Animal Show & Tells, Orange County Library Story-telling, and various other outreach programs throughout the year. Sturgis is currently studying Animal Biology and wants to become an Equine Vet; meanwhile, Stough, is studying Fair Management through the Rosen Hospitality Program; Kelley is working hard with the Board to ensure proper placement and presentation of the new CFF program.

To learn more, contact Stacey@CentralFloridaFair.com!

Becoming leaders through agriculture

Article by Jennifer Nesslar can be found at http://www.orangeobserver.com/article/becoming-leaders-through-agriculture 


When Alyssa Stewart was young, she and her mother would go to the West Orange Dog Park on Marshall Farms Road.

There, Stewart looked over and saw the cows being raised by West Orange High School’s FFA program. When she asked her mother why the cows were there, she learned about FFA.

As an aspiring veterinarian, Stewart decided she would join FFA in high school.

Julian Poillion, a student at Ocoee High School, with a chicken. Now, as a senior at West Orange High School, Stewart has been a member of FFA for four years. Like many of her peers, the responsibility of FFA is preparing her for her career. Recently, some sheep she raised got time in a Fingerhut commercial.

“There’s a lot of responsibility,” said Mattie Crabtree, president of FFA at West Orange High School. “It really forces to you to grow up and take charge of your own life. With your school work, with a job and animals, you have to be out here twice a day to feed them every single day.”


Life as an FFA student is busy.

For students who raise animals to show at competitions, the responsibility is greater than merely feeding the animals, which must be done twice a day, even on weekends and holidays. The students have to prepare the animals to be shown at competitions and even administer basic shots and nurse animals that are sick.

Students who raise animals show them at fairs and jackpot shows. The FFA chapters at Ocoee and West Orange high schools often attend the Central Florida Fair to show animals. Animals are judged by set of standards, and some animals are even sold.

This experience teaches students not only how to raise animals but also makes them aware of the business side of the field, a part of the profession that particularly interests Shayla Chastain, a sophomore at Ocoee High School.

“You’re learning how to deal with money with the animal,” Chastain said. “You keep track of feed costs, how much you’re feeding, and all the costs that you’ve ever put into that pig.”

FFA members attend Career Development Events not only to develop their knowledge of agriculture but also career skills to prepare for future jobs and future situations. Some events include job interviews, public speaking and even driving a tractor.

At meetings, FFA leaders practice parliamentary procedures and learn about opening and closing ceremonies.

In an extemporaneous speaking competition, Ocoee FFA president Hannah Wagner had 30 minutes to write a five-minute speech about an agricultural question. She then gave the speech about sustainability and answered questions about it.

In April, FFA students competed in an ornamental horticulture competition that featured a variery of categories such as landscaping, marketing and production.


FFA isn’t limited to high school students. Students at SunRidge Middle School also participate in the program, and several are headed to a state competition in ornamental horticulture.

At the Orange County competition, SunRidge students Hendrix Paterson and Sean Lewis placed first for the organic fertilizer they created using household products.

The school has a small area where the students raise chicken and other plants, and they are also able to raise rabbits indoors.

“Being in FFA is a great way to make new friends and network with other people,” said Ashley Redditt, the president of the chapter at SunRidge.

Redditt and Paterson both have family ties to FFA, so that was what initially led them to join the program. They both see it as a way to help them achieve their career goals, and even help them get into competitive programs in college.

But it’s also just a lot of fun.

“It’s been amazing. I’ve loved it. I’m a little addicted to it,” Paterson said.


The Annual Kink Music Festival will return as one of the Fairgrounds Biggest Fall Festivals

The Central Florida Fair & Expo Park hosts Kink Music Festival for a 2nd year running! This fall festival takes place on the beautiful shores of Lake Lawne, Saturday, November 14th. While the national and local bands remains confidential, Kink is bringing back much of the same reasons you rocked out last year.