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Jerry Marks

Jerry Marks with the Missoula County Weed District sits in front of a booth discussing the spread of noxious weeds.

Many booths come to the fairgrounds every year, and all of them have a different story to tell. Two of this year's booths are all about nature.

The noxious weeds booth put together by Missoula County has been coming to the fair since 1915.

“We have a presentation about growing a garden in straw bales. People had questions on it so we decided to bring it in,” said Jerry Marks, department head for the Missoula County Extension Office and Weed District. “We also have the noxious weeds, which is a lot about prevention, some things about the materials you use in your garden, and various kinds of trees and herbs.”

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The county has a 4-H program at the fair, and they also have programs that teach people how to grow herbs and gardens, as well as their master gardener program, which provides more details for experienced growers.

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The Lolo National Forest booth also comes to the fair every year, and they always bring a different theme to teach people about. In previous years, they have talked about lookouts and how a burned ponderosa pine forest naturally grew back over 25 years.

“You could see the way the forest looked after the fire,” said Libby Langston, who has been working with the Lolo National Forest for 30 years. “And then 25 years later in the same location it had naturally regenerated.”

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