July 15, 2024

Compeer Financial awards 61 county fair grants

Compeer Financial’s Fund for Rural America, the Farm Credit cooperative’s giving program, awarded a total of $212,000 through the Agriculture Education and Classroom Equipment Grant program this year.

SUN PRAIRIE Wis. — Compeer Financial’s Fund for Rural America, the Farm Credit cooperative’s giving program, is supporting county fairs with grants to improve facilities and experiences offered to rural communities across the Upper Midwest.

Sixty-one fairs across Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota received County Fair Facility Upgrade Grants this year, totaling $241,850.

“County fairs are an integral part of summer experiences for rural communities,” said Karen Schieler, senior corporate giving specialist at Compeer Financial. “These grants aid fairgrounds in supporting necessary updates, which improve the experience for exhibitors and are enjoyed by the thousands of visitors attending fairs each year.”

Of this year’s applicants:

• 37% have needs for electric, lighting or ventilation improvements to improve security and safety.

• 25% have needs for building upgrades, enhancing exhibitor and public experiences.

• 24% have needs for structural repairs to extend the life of the buildings.

• 15% have needs for new or repairs of animal pens and stalls to accommodate increasing number of exhibitors and support the safety of animals, exhibitors and the public.

Since the program was established in 2018, the fund has awarded 422 County Fair Facility Upgrade Grants for a total impact of over $1.4 million, touching the lives of 11.1 million fair organizers, participants and attendees. The fund intends to offer this grant again in March 2025.

The Illinois organizations in Compeer Financial’s territory receiving support from the County Fair Facility Upgrade Grant Program include:

• Fairbury Fair Association — paneling walls and installing new LED lighting and electric in the poultry and rabbit building.

• Hancock County Building and Grounds Corporation — a new heat pump for HVAC system in main exhibition building.

• Hancock County Fair Association — new pen gates in the sheep building.

• Henderson County Fair Association — repairing broken and building new awnings over livestock building wash racks.

• Henry County Fair Association — upgrading to LED lighting fixtures in the horse and cattle stall barns.

• Jo Davies County Agricultural Society — updating electrical in livestock barns.

• Kankakee County Fair and Exposition Inc. — replacing the roof on the swine barn show arena.

• Kendall County Fair Association Inc. — replacing aging electric utility poles.

• Knox County Agricultural and Fair Association — rewiring obsolete and outdated electrical. components and upgrading the lighting and fixtures in the rabbit and poultry barns.

• Lake County Fair Association — installing a drain and pump, concrete floors, walls and a garage door for milking parlor.

• Livingston County Agricultural Fair Association — replacing the roof and structural repairs on rafters and purlins for the pavilion.

• McLean County Fair — resetting block, grinding out cracked mortar, refilling mortar joints and repainting concrete block in the livestock building.

• Mercer Country Agricultural Society — an upgraded sound system in the swine barn.

• Sandwich Fair Association — siding and supports replacements, electrical outlets, wiring, roofing, additional lighting, bleacher upgrades, gates and board bin replacement in livestock buildings.

• Stephenson County Fair Association — updating electrical in swine and goat barns.

• The Elizabeth Community Fair — repairing and painting the roofs and additional electrical drops in the dairy and beef barn, replacing doors on the milk house and installing a new breaker panel in the dairy barn.

• Veterans Memorial Fair Association — new steel siding in the livestock review building.

• Warren Country Agricultural Fair — upgrading the public address sound system in the livestock barns and livestock show rings.

• Western Illinois Fair Association — repairing leaks and installing new freezerless yard hydrants in the livestock barns.

• Whiteside County Fair — replacing the concrete approach entering 4-H and hobby exhibit buildings.

AgriNews Staff

AgriNews Staff

The Illinois AgriNews and Indiana AgriNews staff is in the field each week, covering topics that affect local farm families and their businesses. We give readers information they can’t get elsewhere to help them make better farming decisions.