Nebraska State Fair once-a-year opportunity for GROW members to get statewide exposure

Nebraska State Fair once-a-year opportunity for GROW members to get statewide exposure

Nebraska State Fair once-a-year opportunity for GROW members to get statewide exposure

State Fair GROW Nebraska Store Entrance

Grand Island, Neb – “There’s nothing more Nebraskan” than the Nebraska State Fair, and there’s no better way to support the state than helping its small businesses thrive. 

That’s why the GROW Nebraska Foundation is bringing back the Buy Nebraska Store to the 2021 fair for the 17th year in a row. 

The more than 300,000 attendees who typically show up to the event in Grand Island, hosted this year Aug. 27 – Sept. 6, will have the chance to stop by the store at the Pinnacle Bank Expo Center and support more than 40 local Nebraska businesses who will be showcasing snacks, wearables, soaps, seasoning, meats and more.  

On select days, entrepreneurs will also be setting up sampling stations, so anyone who stops by can get a taste of their product. Some artisan businesses will also be crafting their wares live on site. 

“Every year, our store is a big hit with the crowds. Everyone loves trying some popcorn or watching jewelry being made,” said GROW Nebraska CEO Janell Anderson Ehrke. “This provides a great opportunity for our members to form new relationships and get exposure for their brands.”

The goal of this year’s store is to generate more than $150,000 worth of sales for these businesses, a boon to their Q3 quotas and a banging start to the holiday shopping season. 

All products featured at the Buy Nebraska store will also be available at the website, so the products sampled or seen at the event can be enjoyed well beyond the State Fair. 

“For many of these businesses, eCommerce is the area where they have the most potential for growth,” said GROW Product Marketing Coordinator Clarissa Feldman. “We’re getting dozens of orders every day for our members through our ecommerce site, as well as Amazon and eBay.”

By the year 2040, 95% of all purchases will be facilitated by eCommerce, according to research from NASDAQ. It’s GROW Nebraska’s goal to make sure its member businesses are ahead of that curve. 

As an educational 501c3, GROW Nebraska strives to provide both marketing opportunities like the state fair store, as well as business training opportunities. A purchase at the store not only directly supports the business who made the product, but also helps GROW provide educational opportunities like its annual MarkeTech Conference, monthly webinars and one-on-one training. 

“Our goal is to help these business owners make a sustainable living, no matter where they live in the state,” Anderson Ehrke said. “The state fair store is a step toward that goal for them, but we’re doing whatever we can to help these entrepreneurs all year long.”

Questions about the GROW Nebraska Foundation or its Buy Nebraska store can be directed to


Social Media & Customer Service in Today’s Digital World | GROW Nebraska’s Free Monthly Webinar Series

Social Media & Customer Service in Today’s Digital World | GROW Nebraska’s Free Monthly Webinar Series

GROW Nebraska’s® FREE Online Training

Social Media and Customer Service in Today’s Digital World

How to Livestream Your Business to New Customers

Join GROW Nebraska for this Q&A-format training on how to use customer service to turn around a small business. Hear from Kari Printz, a small business owner who has put these tactics into action herself at her own bakery. In this webinar, you’ll learn all about hands-on customer service, whether you’re interacting with customers through Facebook or face-to-face.

You will learn:

  • How to meet customers where they are
  • The irreplaceable value of a simple smile
  • How small businesses can thrive in today’s environment

Kari is the owner of Ktown Cakery here in downtown Kearney. This summer she will relocate her business to a new location and will be expanding to include kitchen retail. In addition to her local business ownership, Kari juggles a role with Elanco Animal Health where she works on their global food policy team, advocating for US beef production. Prior to her work at Elanco, Kari held business analytic and operations roles at Overton Veterinary Services and the meat processing company now known as JBS. Kari volunteers at her local church as both a Sunday school teacher and a women’s Bible Study leader. She is a mentor in the Elm Creek schools TeamMates mentoring program and a local 4-H club leader. Kari and her husband, Matt, reside outside of Elm Creek with her two young children, Jameson and Scarlett.

This training is brought to you in part by the Center for Rural Affairs. Its mission is to “Establish strong rural communities, social and economic justice, environmental stewardship, and genuine opportunity for all while engaging people in decisions that affect the quality of their lives and the future of their communities.”