Mower County Agricultural Society holds annual meeting

Published 6:54 am Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Mower County Agricultural Society held its annual meeting on Monday, Nov. 5, at the 4-H Hall on the Mower County Fairgrounds.

President Kevin Finley opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and then a moment of silence to remember friends of the fair who have passed away in the past year.

Ag Society members received copies of the 2017 annual meeting minutes. Reading of the minutes was waived and the minutes were approved. Members heard and approved the treasurer’s report.

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The 49 members in attendance heard Vice President Bruce Stundahl’s review of the 2018 fair. Aside from two hours of heavy rain on Tuesday afternoon, it was a week of great weather for the fair. With 98,373 people passing through the gates, the attendance surpassed last year’s count of 94,491. The 2018 fair was a great success.

Finley told members about off-season events which included livestock shows, weddings, a flea market, and an electronics recycling event to name a few.

There were two special off-season events hosted by the fair board. Fair board members and staff, along with family and friends, worked to raise money for other causes within the community. In February, the Smashing Cancer Demolition Derby was held for the fifth year. The derby is a Paint The Town Pink event and proceeds go to the Hormel Institute to help fight cancer.

In September, the fair board partnered with the Greater Mower County Paint The Town Pink committee and the Austin Eagles Aries 703 to host an evening of “Not Your Grandma’s Bingo,” followed by the popular band Amish Playboyz, who reunited for this event. The event was very successful and raised over $13,000 for community projects. Proceeds from the event went to fight cancer as well as to a new cause established by the fair board called FairCares. FairCares is a fund created to assist friends of the fair during difficult times such as health emergencies, accidents, or other unforeseen circumstances that bring financial hardship.

4-H Program Coordinator April VonRuden reported there are 460 Mower County 4-Hers and there were 1,888 4-H exhibits at the Mower County Fair. Those exhibits were split nearly even between livestock and non-livestock. One hundred and forty Mower 4-H exhibitors competed at the Minnesota State Fair and Mower County kids brought back 16 livestock champion ribbons, including five for llamas, six non-livestock purple ribbons, and seven members participated in the Purple Ribbon Auction. In addition, members won awards in judging, showmanship, and interview competitions.

National Barrow Show committee chair Scott Felten reported there has been much discussion between the fair board and representatives of the National Association of Swine Records (NASR) and an agreement has been reached to hold the National Barrow Show on the fairgrounds on Sept. 7-11, 2019. Fair board and NASR representatives will continue to discuss the changed economics of the show and any future agreements.

The meeting continued onto the election of fair board directors. Bruce Stundahl informed the board he was not seeking re-election. He was recognized by the membership and presented a plaque for his nine years of service and dedication to the Mower County Fair.

Each year three directors are elected to three-year terms. The seats held by Neal Anderson, Kevin Finley and Bruce Stundahl were to be decided. Neal Anderson and Kevin Finley were re-elected and Randy Feuring was elected to his first term.

During the counting of votes, the floor was opened for questions from members and discussions. Refreshments were served at the conclusion of the meeting.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Mower County Agricultural Society must pay the $10 dues before Sept. 30, 2019 in order to be eligible to vote at the next annual meeting, which will be held Nov. 4, 2019.