Alaska State Fair

Brian Shunskis, of Fairbanks won the 2021 Alaska State Fair Giant Cabbage Weigh Off with an 86.15 pound piece of produce named "Clean Green."

PALMER— Fairbanks farmer Brian Shunskis won the 2021 Alaska State Fair Giant Cabbage Weigh Off with an 86.15 pound piece of produce named “Clean Green.”

“It was a good cabbage for the weather I had this year,” Shunskis said.

Shunskis hails from Salcha, part of the Fairbanks North Star Borough. He said that he’s been competing with his giant crops and other types of entries for many years. He claimed that his region is the “best place to grow cabbages in the world.”

“It’s been great over the years,” Shunskis said.

Shunskis said that he had three big contenders that could have won the Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off this year. He said the name “Clean Green” comes from the plant having no signs of rot.

“I just picked the one that looked the prettiest,” Shunskis said. “I’m really happy with it... I think it would’ve been a 100 pounder if it were an ideal summer.”

This year’s entries also included several youth participants with large, leafy entries that contended with their adult cabbage counterparts.

While overall participation for the Cabbage Weigh-Off, Pumpkin Weigh-Off, and other agricultural contests and exhibits were down, there were numerous first-time contestants joined by seasoned growers all showing the end result of all the hard work they put in this summer.

ASF board member, Stephen Brown said that overall participation in the Cabbage Weigh-Off was down by about a third this year, but it was still an enthusiastic return to a long-cherished tradition.

“The weather took a big toll, but we’re back,” Brown said.

Shunskies’ winning cabbage was featured alongside this year’s giant pumpkin from Anchorage grower Dale Marshall, and other agricultural exhibits for public view for the remainder of the Fair season. Fairgoers posed for photos in front of the colossal crops with their friends and family throughout the weekend as well as the season wrap-up, Monday, Sept. 6.

For more information, visit alaskastatefair.org.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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