Fairgrounds gets a new foundation; Funds will be used for fair, events, grandstand and more

Published 3:59 am Monday, August 31, 2015

Eli Connor-Olson, 3, feeds a goat a carrot at the Mower County Fair Wednesday afternoon. Herald file photo

Eli Connor-Olson, 3, feeds a goat a carrot at the 2015 Mower County Fair. Herald file photo

The Mower County Agricultural Society is investing in the future of the county fairgrounds.

The Mower County Fair Board, the board of directors elected from the agricultural society, has created a foundation for the fairgrounds, in essence a trust the society can one day use for the fair, events at the fairground and more.

“The concept is good,” said John Mueller, president of this year’s fair board.

Email newsletter signup

Ag society members created the foundation in June through the Austin Area Foundation, which will oversee the foundation’s fund rather than the board, which elects new members every year.

“By having the Austin Area Foundation oversee the fund, we felt like we have stability,” Mueller said.

Though the fund was created with $5,000 to start, more money has poured in from the Mower County Farm Bureau and other area agriculture-related organizations. The Mower County Farm Bureau gave $1,000 to the foundation during this year’s fair.

Though the foundation is starting small, Mueller hopes more area residents will contribute to the fund through estate planning, land grants or direct gifts to the foundation over the next few years. The ag society will only be able to use a small percentage of the fund each year, so ag society members expect to grow the foundation for a few years before they use its money.

“It’s obviously going to be beneficial to not just the current fairgrounds, but to future generations also,” he said.