Vegetable exhibit Standing Rock Fair, Fort Yates, ND,
SHSND# 1952-0576Gurney Seed and Nursery Company, arguably a local company because of its location at Yankton, offered a long list of prizes at the 1912 Fargo fair. Fifteen vegetables were eligible for a $3 prize. A prize of $20 was given to the best collection of vegetables grown from Gurney seeds.
In 1911, Bismarck hosted the North Dakota Industrial Exposition. It was designed to bring out-of-state businessmen to ND to see the potential for investment as well as to encourage agricultural and industrial growth in ND. What was unusual about this fair is that the horticultural categories were treated with greater interest than usually seen in fair premium catalogs. Vegetables took 10 pages of the premium list, and though the premiums were smaller than for agricultural entries, they were substantial. That the premiums tended to be things more valued by men than women is also telling, but many of the premiums were gender neutral (or would make a nice gift from a woman to her husband). For instance, in the sweepstakes (Class N Lot 61, p. 34) category, premium no. 135 was a Deere Six Shovel Horse Lift New Elk Riding Cultivator worth $35. Second premium in the same category was a Fig. 142 Force Pump worth $10. Pictures of these premiums were printed in the catalog. In contrast, the premiums for canned fruits and vegetables were dishes or a clock.