Illinois State Fair goes back to state's agriculture roots

    Agriculture is getting a beefed up presence at this year's Illinois State Fair.

    State Department of Agriculture director Philip Nelson said at a fair preview day Thursday that agriculture is being reemphasized at the fair.

    The State Journal-Register reports that includes the return of farm machinery to the fairgrounds.

    Fair director Patrick Buchen says farm equipment has been absent from the fair in recent years, and its presence is meant to educate people who aren't otherwise around agriculture.

    The tent for the Department of Agriculture will get a more prominent spot east of the Coliseum this year.

    There will also be a free behind-the-scenes agriculture tour and an "ask a farmer" booth.

    This year's Illinois State Fair opens Aug. 13.

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