4-H Files Aaron Allen

(Conrad) Welcome to the 4H files on AGam in Kansas. Today we are at the Jackson County 4H Fair in Holton and we caught up with Aaron Allen Fair Association President. (Aaron) Hello, my name is Aaron Allen and we are at the Jackson County Fair today. It’s a Wednesday afternoon. It’s kind of a slow afternoon for the Jackson County Fair. We currently have our Barnyard Olympics going on down in the animal barns. Tuesday was a big day, we had our beef show and our swine show and Monday was our sheep show. Tonight we have our fair parade which will be a huge event, probably our biggest day for the Jackson County Fair. So, we are looking forward to that. Along with that this evening we also have our talent show. (Conrad) Jackson County 4H is making some big changes next year. The entire fair is leaving downtown and heading about three miles away from its current location. The fair is being held for the last time in downtown Holton. And next year it’s going to be moved to the Northeast Kansas Heritage Complex, just outside of town. (Aaron) We’re very excited about our move. It is becoming very close to happening. Approximately 15 days after the fair we will probably close on one of our pieces, one of our tracts we have for sale. From that point we will be moving to the new fair grounds. The 2015 fair will be at the new fairgrounds, Northeast Kansas Heritage Complex. We are in the process of breaking ground and design development of our new animal barn for the 2015 fair. Currently at the old fairgrounds, it is broke up into six tracts. We have one of those sold, pretty close to having two of those sold with four remaining. So we’re very excited about those prospects and up to the challenge of moving. (Conrad) The 4H Fair Association is excited about the move and anxious to get started. (Aaron) The old fairground has had many challenges. It’s been a great facility for many years. It’s been here since probably, I used to be able to tell you off the top of my head, but I think it’s like the 1940’s or so, 1950’s. One problem that this fairgrounds has is we’re out of room to grow here. We are landlocked with six acres. If we want to do any new additions to the fair or new attractions to the fair, we couldn’t do that here. Our facilities are becoming outdated to the point where it takes more than maintenance to keep them up and so you have to start replacing buildings. Parking has always been a huge problem at this facility. At the new fairgrounds, we’ll have ample parking, so we’re looking forward to that. Making it much more convenient for grandparents, handicapped people to come take in the show. The previous fairgrounds has been around for nearly 60 years, But in the recent years it’s had too many problems to continue being in downtown. The Jackson County Commissioners came to us approximately six or seven years ago with the intent of trying to encourage the Fair Association to move the fairgrounds to a new location so that our current property could be economically developed. and bring in more tax revenue for Jackson County, which is a good thing. It’s a very good thing for Jackson COunty financially. With the impetus we decided to move. We’re looking very forward to our new fairgrounds. Most of our fundraising has been through donations. (Conrad) Funding has also been an issue. But Jackson County Fair Association is tackling that problem head on. (Aaron) With the sale of the upcoming tract, that will be a big chunk of money upcoming that we will be able to utilize to further our progress at our new fairgrounds. We’ve had several new fund raising type of activities like our rodeo, tractor pulls, at our new facilities. It seems to be very convenient, plenty of places for people to park. We’ve had very nice crowds for those and they’ve been great money makers as well. (Conrad) AGam in Kansas urges you to support your local 4H program and to help whenever you can. Thank you for watching this segment of 4H Files of on AGam in Kansas. For more 4H Files in Jackson County or if you want view this program again, logon to Facebook and like AGam or visit us on www.agaminkansas.com

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