The Agriculture Division of the Sussex County Farm & Horse Show Association is responsible for the development of the agricultural area on the Fairgrounds. Since the purchase of the Plains Road property for fairgrounds in 1976, the Ag Division has raised money for erecting a show pavilion with attached food booth, five pole barns and a small animal building, a milking parlor, livestock washing facility, a greenhouse and a building to house the Farm Fun program during the Fair.
The Division schedules the livestock shows during the Fair, as well as apportions space for the animals on show days. It oversees the rules for the shows and keeps up with the latest state regulations for livestock. Members of the Division keep up with the latest news in the state, country and world concerning livestock. They seek out sponsorships in order to support premiums for the shows and to expand the offerings in the Ag Area.
Included under the umbrella of the Division are the Flower and Garden Expo, Forage and Vegetable Shows at the Fair.
A monthly meeting of the Agriculture Division is open to all members of the Division. Those members who are also Fair Board members attend the monthly meetings of the Sussex County Farm & Horse Show Association and speak to the members on issues of concern.
The Division works hard to insure that the Fair has a variety of animals available for fairgoers to view. It also plans educational demonstrations and displays making use of the Snook Memorial Museum, the Rare Heritage Breeds Educational Tent and other available areas on the grounds.
There are occasional livestock shows throughout the year as well as professional development opportunities held on site.
The Snook Museum
Since 1983, the Sussex County Agricultural Society has operated the Snook Agriculture Museum. This important component of the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show was built as a memorial to Lafayette farmer and agricultural leader, Jack Snook. Since then, it has been operated by the members of the Sussex County Agricultural Society.The Snook Agricultural Museum is a must-see for all who want to keep the “farm” in the Farm and Horse Show. The museum features a comprehensive collection of antique farm tools from the turn of the 20th century, including several interactive exhibits.
Play checkers, cool down with an ice cream pop, shell some corn, or chat with one of the honest to goodness farmers who are always on hand. Our daily interactive demonstrations and discussions including weaving, spinning, lace making, gardening hints, cooking with local produce, felting, local artisan breads and cheeses, woodcarving, a local wheelwright and our newest arrival, “The Incredible Milking Cow.”
Children and adults will be entertained and educated by the memorabilia; artifacts and farm folks who make you feel at home. This is good old-fashioned fun for the whole family. The museum is open during fair week from 10-10 daily.
Sussex County has been an agricultural center since its first settlements. Over the last 300+ years, farming in the County has gone through several stages. Dairy farms were most prevalent in the 19th and early 20th century, especially after the arrival of railroads to the county. Even by the 1950’s residents could boast that there were more cows than people in Sussex County.
In the last sixty years many changes have come to Sussex County agriculture. The Farmers’ Grange that was vital to the agricultural communities is disappearing. The number of dairy farms in the county has also decreased. On the increase are farms raising hay, horses, small animals, and Christmas trees/ornamental shrubs.
Another trend is agritourism. Wineries combine cultivation with tasting events. Alpaca farms feature fiber shops. Orchards offer cider and apple picking opportunities. Farms offer U-Pick periods for berries and pumpkins, pies & jams, hayrides, and sunflower mazes. Farmers’ Markets have sprung up in many communities and offer produce and other agricultural products.
Along with offering product, some markets also offer tastings and music. Agritourism brings new people into the county, looking for experiences not available in more urban parts of the state. This influx of visitors supports both farmers and neighboring businesses.
The Farmland Preservation Program views farmland as a resource and farmers as its stewards as irreplaceable. “Agriculture provides food and fiber, clean air, stormwater management, groundwater recharge, wildlife habitat, and the open, scenic vistas that are the hallmark of Sussex County’s landscapes.” Since 1983, 12,362 acres have been permanently preserved.
Agriculture continues to be a viable industry in Sussex County. The Sussex County Farm & Horse Show Association’s Agriculture Division works hard to showcase the Snook Agricultural Museum.
Imagine a kitchen and parlor just like great-grandma’s, a general store with ice cream, milk, homemade cookies and a huge display of farm equipment from the days when “horse power” really came from horses. This is a place where nostalgia, fun and learning are the order of the day. Sound like a pleasant dream? The delightful reality can be yours at the Snook Agricultural Museum at the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show/ The New Jersey State Fair. Come join the members of the Sussex County Agricultural Society for a delightful trip down memory lane.
The Snook Agricultural Museum offers one of the largest displays of antique farm machinery in the state including several interactive exhibits. Play a game of checkers, cool down with an ice cream pop, shell some corn or have a chat with one of the honest to goodness farmers who are always on hand. Don’t miss daily interactive demonstrations and discussions including weaving, spinning, lace making, gardening hints and helps, cooking with local produce, felting, local artisan breads and cheeses, woodcarving, a local wheelwright and our newest arrival, “The Incredible Milking Cow”.
The Sussex County Agricultural Society has been operating the Snook Agriculture Museum at the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show since 1983. The Museum was built as a memorial to Lafayette farmer and agricultural leader, Jack Snook, and is operated by the members of the Sussex County Agricultural Society. The museum features a comprehensive collection of antique farm tools from the turn of the 20th century.
The Snook Agricultural Museum is a must see for all who want to keep the “farm” in the Farm and Horse Show. Children and adults will be entertained and educated by the memorabilia; artifacts and farm folks who make you feel at home. This is good old-fashioned fun for the whole family. The museum is open during fair week from 10-10 daily.