The Vernon County Agricultural Society held its annual meeting Dec. 8, 2018, and recapped the Vernon County Fair, which was held Sept. 12-16.
“We had another successful fair,” David Hornby, board president, said. “We had another warm one. We’ve had two summer-like years in a row.”
Hornby was referring to fair week’s daytime highs in the upper 80s, both in 2018 and 2017.
Bill Marohl, board treasurer, gave the financial report.
Gate, non-gate and grandstand receipts totaled $95,239. Mr. Ed’s income to the fair was $34,765.36. Marohl said there was free gate admission to the fair, Sunday, Sept. 16, because of the flooding the area received two week before the fair. The total four-day attendance for the 2018 fair was 20,063 compared to 23,967 in 2017.
“The difference is because of flooding prior to the fair; people were getting their lives in order,” Marohl said. “We had a good fair, considering what happened prior to the fair.”
There was a total of 7,363 Open Class and Junior Fair exhibits at the fair. The premiums paid out for 2018 totaled $18,921.50.
The fair’s income was $273,075.84 and expenses were $259,281.73 for a profit of $13,794.11 which all goes back into the upkeep of the grounds and buildings. Some of the bigger expenses, Marohl said, included new signs for the buildings’ exteriors for $1,800; a defibrillator purchased for $1,547; and a final loan payment of $4,562 for the society’s John Deere tractor.
“I’m real pleased with the numbers this year,” Marohl said. “We have a lot of expenses each year; we keep our grounds in shape. We are known to have one of the best fairs in the state.”
At the end of his presentation Marohl unveiled the 2019 premium book cover designed by Ella A. Penchi. The fair theme, based on Penchi’s drawing, is “Making Memories.” The theme will be used for decorating the barns and exhibit halls during the fair, which is scheduled for Sept. 11-15.
John McClelland Jr., vice president, gave the buildings and grounds report.
“We did not have big projects but a lot of small projects, such as adding screening to the harness track,” McClelland said.
McClelland said some of the other small projects included improving the electrical wiring in the hog barn, building a roof between the beef barn and meal animal sale arena, installing fans in the peak of the sale arena with the help of the Meat Animal Sale Committee, and painting the junior horse barn.
McClelland said the horse group helped remove the ridge vents in the junior horse barn to help with circulation and installed skylights. “It’s good to get groups involved.”
McClelland said the board is still looking at ideas for a new building that would include bathrooms and the fair office.
McClelland complimented caretaker John Waters for keeping the fairgrounds in good shape.
Director Donna Leum said the two large acts on the Bob Fredrick Free Stage were The Memories, a variety show group geared toward adults, and T.C. Hatter and Marcianne, a comedy duo, for the children.
Leum said she had enough money to book Watson’s Woods chainsaw carvings. The demonstrations took place near the Co-op Building. “It was great seeing the kids, adults and older adults watching on Friday and Saturday.”
The carvings that were created were auctioned on Sunday, Leum said, and the money went to the new building fund.
Leum said the first day of the 2019 fair falls on the 18th anniversary of 9/11. “We will have some sort of program, probably that evening. If you have strong feelings, ideas or something to say, please let me know. I want something nice for that.”
Director Stan Zube gave a report on the meat animal sale.
There were 21 market lambs in the sale, which sold for an average price of $2.90 per pound with an average weight of 139 pounds. The total sale amount was $8,520.50.
There were 37 market steers in the sale, which sold for an average price of $1.49 per pound, with an average weight of 1,302 pounds. The total sale amount was $72,221.45.
There were 70 market hogs in the sale, which sold for an average price of $2.15 per pound, with an average weight of 269 pounds. The total sale amount was $35,584.40.
There were four market goats in the sale, which sold for an average price of $6.63 per pound, with an average weight of 71 pounds. The total sale amount was $1,943.75.
There were two market rabbits in the sale, which sold for an average price of $26.86 per pound, with an average weight of 5 pounds. The total sale amount was $286.61.
The poultry sale saw one chicken and one turkey sold. The chicken weighed 8.8 pounds and sold for $50 per pound, for a total of $440. The turkey weighed 27 pounds and sold for $12.50 per pound, for a total of $337.50. The total of the poultry sale was $777.50.
During the Dairy Blue Ribbon Sale, the ribbons sold for an average price of $420, for a total of $4,200. The last dairy ribbon sold, Karly Anderson’s, which benefitted flood relief in Vernon County, brought $17,550. There were 22 different bidders. Zube said the Meat Animal Sale Committee also donated 1 percent of the meat animal sale for flood relief, which totaled $1,291. 47.
The total of the 2018 sale was $129,147. There were 71 different bidders at the meat animal sale.
Secretary Ken Deaver gave the buildings and grounds report.
“It seems we’re busier every year,” Deaver said, before listing all of the events that are held on the fairgrounds throughout the year. “We had another great fair. How we sandwiched a week of nice weather in there I don’t know. Somebody up there is looking after us.”
Committee reports were also given by Jean Walleser, Fairest of the Fair, and Jim Galstad, collegiate judging.
Hornby, Paul Larsen and Carol Christopherson were re-elected by unanimous ballot to three-year terms, and a moment of silence was observed for ag society members Keith “Trapper” Vance, Joyce Sheldon and Margaret Lewison, who died in 2018.
Friends of the Fair awards were presented to Animal Tracks Veterinary Service and Tri State Scale – Richard Nehls.