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$241k awarded in County Fair Grants

For Immediate Release


Nora Nolden, Sr. Communications Consultant

[email protected] or (651) 245-6804


Compeer Financial Awards 61 County Fair Grants

$241k awarded for county fair facility improvements in Ill., Minn. and Wis.


Sun Prairie, Wis., (May 6, 2024)  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 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 repairing 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 61 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 (Carthage): a new heat pump for HVAC system in main exhibition building

Hancock County Fair Association (Augusta): new pen gates in the sheep building

Henderson County Fair Association: repairing broken and/or 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: a new or 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, 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 freezer-less yard hydrants in the livestock barns

Whiteside County Fair: replacing the concrete approach entering 4-H and hobby exhibit buildings


Regents of the University of Minnesota Benton County 4-H: purchasing tack boxes for new pens, repairing pens and gates, replacing signage at the 4-H lunch stand and 4-H information booth improvements

Brown County Agricultural Society: expanding cement and railings, adding drainage system for washing stations

Carlton County Fair: repairing dairy barn concrete floor

Faribault County Agriculture Society: electrical wiring, switches and outlets in the poultry and rabbit barn and replacing electrical outlets and evaluating wiring in the beef barn

Freeborn County Agricultural Society: updating to LED lighting in the 4-H building

Itasca County Agricultural Society: upgrading electrical for fans in the horse barns

Jackson County Agricultural Society: new skirting around the horse barn

Lake County Agricultural Society: replacing and upgrading to LED lighting in the livestock barn, livestock arena and 4-H building

Le Sueur County Fair Foundation: cementing the beef barn building

McLeod County Agricultural Association: gates and panels for small animal shows

Morrison County Agricultural Association (Motley): replacing exterior doors and siding, new concrete for the 4-H building

Mower County Fair: purchasing and installing handrails in the Crane Pavilion Livestock Arena

Murray County Agricultural Society: new cages for the poultry barn

Rice County Agricultural Society DBA Rice County Fair: new stall mats and refurbishing stall fronts in the horse barn

Rock County Fair:  replacing electrical panels and adding fans in the livestock buildings

Sherburne County Fair: upgrading the wash stalls

St. Louis County Agricultural Society/Fair Association: upgrading electrical in the horse barn

Todd County Agricultural Society: replacing pens and gates in the hog and sheep, dairy and beef barns

Wabasha County Fair: adding gates to the outside 4-H livestock barn and 4-H livestock judging arena and adding a new concrete sidewalk to the beef end of the livestock barn

Watonwan County Agriculture Association: electrical upgrades to install fans in the show arena, installing electrical outlets in swine and sheep barn and installing drop cord outlets in the beef barn


Adams County Agricultural Society, Inc.: poultry barn fans and bleachers for animal shows and livestock auction

Alto Fair Inc.: upgrading hog panels

Ashland County Fair: purchasing bleachers for the animal exhibit arena

Blake’s Prairie Junior Fair: sheep and swine exhibit addition

Buffalo County Fair Association: replacing beef barn boards, adding a ventilation in the beef and swine buildings and adding pens in the goat area

Calumet County Agricultural Association: replacing steel ibeams and block, installing new windows and overhead door in the dairy arena

Crawford County Fair: updating electrical outlets and adding new breaker boxes in the exhibits building and 4-H food stand and replacing beef barn poles

Eau Claire County Friends of the Fair: new goat pens

Elroy Fair Association: rewiring, new lighting and adding tunnel ventilation in the hog barn

Green County Agricultural Society and Mechanics Institute: LED lighting upgrades in the sheep and goat barn, hog building and show building

Green Lake County Fair: new pens in the poultry and rabbit barn, electrical wiring and fans for the sheep and swine barn, and adding fans in the dairy and beef barn

Iron County Fair Association: adding a roof over the 4-H livestock and horse washing and grooming outdoor facility, and structural and roof repairs and windows in the 4-H horse training and event management structure

Lodi Agricultural Fair: extend Wi-Fi coverage from the fair office to the livestock buildings

Pierce County Friends of the Fair: updating electrical breaker panels and adding outlets and LED lighting to the arena barn

Polk County Fair Society Inc.: upgrading the sound system in the livestock barns and show barn

Racine County Agricultural Society Inc.: LED lighting upgrade in the 4-H and beef barns

Rusk County Small Animal Project: purchasing wall mount fans, lumber, paint and materials to build tables and purchasing additional hanging feed and water pans for small animals

Sawyer County Agricultural Fair Association: replacing stalls in the pig barn

Trempealeau County Ag Society, Inc.: improving the drainage in the horse arena

Washburn County Junior Fair Association: painting the dairy and beef barn

Winnebago County Fair Association: adding electrical outlets and replacing barn fans

For more information about the Country Fair Facility Upgrade Program, visit

About the Fund for Rural America
The Compeer Financial Fund for Rural America is the corporate giving program of Compeer Financial, structured to support Compeer Financial’s mission to enrich agriculture and rural America. Compeer Financial’s Board of Directors has dedicated one percent of annual net earnings to support the Fund’s focus areas of agricultural advocacy and development, agriculture education, cooperative initiatives, rural development and community enrichment; and youth engagement. The Fund is managed by a Board of Trustees, made up of team members from Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin and members of the Compeer Financial Board of Directors. More information about opportunities available through the Fund can be found at

About Compeer Financial

Compeer Financial is a member-owned Farm Credit cooperative serving and supporting agriculture and rural communities. The $31.9 billion organization provides loans, leases, risk management and other financial services throughout 144 counties in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Based in the Upper Midwest, Compeer Financial exists to champion the hopes and dreams of rural America, while providing personalized service and expertise to clients and the agriculture industry.

Compeer Financial is the third largest cooperative of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of lending institutions supporting agriculture and rural communities with reliable, consistent credit and financial services. Learn more about Compeer Financial.





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