Photo Release: MDARD Director Gary McDowell Visits 168th Ingham County Fair & Local Food Truck Owners

LANSING, MI – Today, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell, joined by representatives from the Michigan Association for Local Public Health, the Ingham County Health Department, and the Michigan Association of Fairs and Exhibitions, toured the 168th Ingham County Fair, including the large animal livestock auction, and met with local food truck owners selling delicious food items during the fair. Throughout 2022, McDowell is traveling across the state, meeting with food and agricultural businesses as they advance during Michigan’s economic recovery and revitalization.

“From our Food and Dairy Division working with our partners at local health departments to help ensure safe food, to our veterinarians who help protect the health and safety of the animals at the fairs, MDARD works hard behind the scenes to ensure Michiganders have a great time at our summer fairs, said McDowell. “The Ingham County Fair, like other fairs across the state, continues the tradition of representing Michigan’s cultural and agricultural heritage by showcasing our unique cuisine, arts, and entertainment. The MDARD team is proud to support these entrepreneurs while helping provide a safe experience for all.”

The Ingham County Fair includes exhibits by families from across the county, plays a critical role within the community by connecting people to their agricultural roots, and provides family-friendly entertainment for all ages.

“Michigan fairs have a long standing tradition of enjoyment and education to millions of providing each year,” said Lisa Reiff, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Fairs & Exhibitions. “Each fair provides a unique experience to highlight their local area with entertainment, educational exhibits, and of course fun. We are proud of our partnership with MDARD to help provide safe fun for the whole family.”

“Michigan’s food industry has faced tremendous challenges throughout the past two years but continues to overcome and thrive because of their commitment to their craft and ability to evolve,” said Norm Hess, executive director, Michigan Association for Local Public Health. “Food truck businesses continue to grow in popularity across Michigan, providing a flexible environment to serve unique cuisine. Local health departments work to be their partners in growth while ensuring customers enjoy safe food.”

Throughout 2022, Director McDowell is meeting with Michigan’s food and agricultural businesses having conversations focused on how they can continue to thrive in Michigan’s new economy and how best MDARD can assist their continuous development.