The Utah State Fair had more than 300,000 visitors this year, and among them were two of its most loyal supporters, President and Sister Ezra Taft Benson.
The Church president and his wife spent about an hour at the fair Saturday morning, Sept. 16, visiting the horticulture displays, livestock barns, and the home arts building."This brings back lots of memories," said President Benson, who grew up on a farm at Whitney, Idaho, and attended state fairs as a youngster. As U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 1952 to 1960, he was a distinguished guest at numerous fairs throughout the United States.
Many of those who regularly submit exhibits at the fair look forward to seeing President and Sister Benson pass by their booths or displays each year. Diane Bott was not too surprised to see President Benson when she looked up from grooming one of the seven cows she and her husband, Carl, and their children had entered in the fair this year.
A member of the Castle Dale (Utah) 1st Ward, Sister Bott was in one of the livestock barns with four daughters when President Benson stopped to shake hands with them.
"We are always excited to see President Benson," said Sister Bott. "We've entered the fair for the past three years, and we have seen him each year, but this was the first time he stopped to visit with us. He was really responsive to our daughters, especially the youngest, Christin, who is 6. He held her hand and talked to her."
Before President Benson left the livestock barn, he said the entries were all "beautiful animals."