Old MacDonald’s Farm Petting Zoo has been a long standing tradition at the Sioux Empire Fair. Old MacDonald’s has been hosted and operated by the Harrisburg High School FFA Chapter for the past seven years. The main goal of Old MacDonald’s Farm is to provide fairgoers with an educational look at animal agriculture. The Farm strives to exhibit animals that would traditionally be seen on today’s farms and ranches. To better inform the public of the scope of South Dakota agriculture, signs are displayed with each different type of animal providing facts about the number of different farm animals in South Dakota and the uses of those animals.
Old MacDonald’s Farm also strives to inform the public of the importance of safety when working with animals of all sizes. Hands on demonstrations with dogs and cats, safety displays and interactive safety presentations are presented throughout the week of the fair. FFA members are constantly in the building to answer questions, hold animals for children to pet, and to keep the pens and hallways clean and attractive.A recent addition to Old MacDonald’s Farm is the display of restored antique tractors and farm equipment located in front of the building. All the restoration projects displayed were done by FFA members from across eastern South Dakota.