HAMILTON – The Ravalli County Fairgrounds is hosting their annual Ravalli County Fair. Inside you’ll find games, rides, a rodeo and everybody’s favorite: fair food.
"People enjoy fair food so we have a shop inside Hamilton on 2nd Street, and we notice about a week before fair things kind of start backing off a little bit," Mineshaft Pasties owner Kristin Hoenstine said. "People are saving those pennies coming to fair."
The food alone is worth the trip, but each dollar you spend on food at the fair makes its way back to an area organization.
"And what’s super cool about the fair food, too, especially if your eating like a main course with us with Moose Creek or Up in Smoke, your supporting a nonprofit," Hoenstine said. "We choose to partner with the Hamilton Players. This is our second year partnering with them."
It’s a contribution that local organizations say they appreciate and look forward to every year.
"It’s actually pretty big. Last year we got a little better than $1,000 from just the fair efforts," said Hamilton Players executive director Denise Rose. "I don’t know what portion or percentage that is of what there total sales are but that’s a big donation for our organization."
Buying a pastie is one thing but another way you could support youth agriculture organizations is at the livestock auctions. FFA and 4H participants spend all year raising livestock to show off and eventually auction off.
The money they earn from those auctions isn’t just your average spending money
"A lot of us are saving up for college and I know a lot of adults who paid their way through college by selling their lambs or selling their hogs," said Victor FFA member Gracie Smith. "A lot of us plan on doing the same thing so it’s a fantastic thing when we are able to make a profit and be able to save up some money."