The Great New York State Fair reports that they earned seven awards in the annual competition operated by the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE). IAFE is the trade group representing more than 1,000 fairs, events, and expositions from around the world. The awards were announced at the event’s annual convention in Las Vegas.

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“The outstanding efforts of staff, in collaboration with many partners, produced first-class information and entertainment that was rightfully recognized during this national competition,” said Acting State Agriculture Commissioner James B. Bays. “We are proud of the work that everyone did on these projects and grateful for the recognition. I thank our many partners for their hard work and dedication to providing high-quality exhibits at this year’s Fair.”

The New York Animal Agriculture Coalition’s Dairy Cow Birthing Center earned second place in the agricultural competition for Fair and Sponsor/Partner Joint Exhibit Program. The center was packed with Fairgoers, anxious to witness a dairy cow giving birth to a baby calf. The center featured 30 births throughout the Fair with farmers and veterinarians on hand to answer questions about the birthing process and dairy farms in general. A live webcam of the birthing center, offered through Cornell University, allowed people at home to share in the excitement.

Jessica Ziehm, Executive Director of the New York Animal Agriculture Coalition (NYAAC), said, “The production of milk starts with the birth of a baby calf, and so it made sense to us to showcase this phenomenon at the State Fair, as NYAAC works to educate the public about modern dairy farms. Fairgoers wowed us with their interest in this exhibit and our farmers were thrilled to share their passion and commitment to the care of dairy cows with the public. We are honored with this recognition from the IAFE and thank the New York State Fair for partnering with us to provide this unique opportunity to the public.”

The Fair competed in the category of fairs and events with an attendance of between 500,000 and 1 million and these awards capped a successful Fair season. The Fair’s effort to provide more programming on the west end of the grounds paid additional dividends.

“I can’t say enough what a good thing the Cow Birthing Center was for the west end of the Fair,” said Samuel Alivero, who owns the longtime Fair restaurant that bears his name. “It helped vendors. We saw good increases in sales and the public was happy to have the birthing center.”

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 21 – September 1, 2014. Its mission is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.