Fair board and 4-H should work together

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Dear Editor,

Our ranch has been in Dawson County for more than 100 years, that amounts to many dollars in property taxes. I find it very disturbing that the current fair board and county commissioners choose to use those dollars to change the fair to accommodate a carnival schedule.

We should all remember how fairs started. Besides being a social event, fairs were held so people could show their produce, have a good time and good food and mostly to celebrate the agricultural community so all agriculture products could be shown and compete against each other. The 4-H program has been very instrumental in the growth and development of youth. As a former 4-H member, leader, father and grandfather of 4-Hers I can fully attested to the benefits derived from the program.

The current fair board appears antagonistic to the 4-H program. Changing the fair date to June makes it extremely difficult to get projects ready to show, the 4-Hers need the summer months to prepare their projects. They seem to forget that 4-H is a very important part of the fair. There are many lessons to be learned from youth programs like getting along, looking out for other’s interests, or serving the community. 4-H is a service organization. They have put many hours of work and many dollars into improving the fairgrounds. The 4-H group has also solicited many dollars worth of materials etc. from local businesses to improve the fairgrounds. Most of us in agriculture support the traditional timing of the fair.

As a former fair board member I fully understand the frustrations when dealing with the different factions, but we need to remember that the basis of our county is still agricultural and the growth and development of our youth is vitally important. If a carnival must be in June, have it then but leave the fair at its traditional time and support our 4-H youth. The fairboard and 4-H have always worked together to put on a fair beneficial to both. Please continue.


George A. Mahlstedt