Pendleton County Youth Fair receives $99,000 grant
Pendleton County Youth Fair, Inc., was one of four county fairs to be awarded a grant from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture for fairgrounds construction and remodeling.
Pendleton County and Shelby County Agricultural and Mechanical Association collected the largest amounts, each receiving $99,000.
Current president of the fair board, Michael Mann, said, “It is great news for us.”
The recent purchase from the school district helped the process that is opened to all Kentucky county fairs. Without ownership, they would have had to work out a long term lease agreement to be eligible for the grant.
It is a 25/75 grant, meaning that the fair board had to commit 25 percent to match the grant’s 75 percent.
“This funding will put the fairgrounds one step closer to becoming a place our community can be proud of,” he added. “It won’t just be a location for a county fair but a place to host events and activities throughout the year. We are thankful for KDA implementing and providing this funding to help PCYF continue to improve and build our fairgrounds back to a place that can serve our community, honor our agricultural traditions and boost economics of Pendleton County.”
On the latter, the board has plans to add space for more pens that will allow them to expand.
“We’ve had space limitations in the past. This may also help with other jackport/open shows, district shows, etc., that we could host in the future by having more room for animals,” explained Mann.
Opening the fairgrounds to livestock and horse shows year round would bring visitors from outside the county. This could translate to more money being spent at local stores and restaurants.
While the local community benefits, the youth of the county would also benefit.
With more of the youth participating in the 4-H and FFA programs of raising, showing, and selling livestock, more youth will be developing the mindset of hard work and responsibility. They will one day enter the local work force.
The increase in youth involvement would lead to increased agricultural commerce with purchases of equipment, feed, supplies, etc., being purchased locally.
“It simply brings more dollars to Pendleton County,” he pointed out.
A kitchen renovation is planned, focusing on mostly HVAC, according to Mann.
“Our plan is to utilize these funds for improvements and updates to our current kitchen facilities,” he said. He sees the need to help workers out with the heat during the summer fair week and improving the use of the kitchen.
The bathroom facilities also are scheduled for a makeover. The will focus on renovating the piping and installing more efficient fixtures.
Roof repairs throughout the fairgrounds are also on the list.
“The local fairgrounds are the hubs of our rural Kentucky communities,” Agricultural Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “They host county fairs, livestock shows, and other events that honor Kentucky’s agricultural traditions. These grants will enable local fair boards to provide their citizens an enjoyable fair experience.”
According to the Department of Agriculture, any incorporated fair board in Kentucky may apply with the State Aid to Local Agricultural Fairs Program for grants in the amount of $20,000-$100,000. Grants may be used for land acquisition, infrastructure or facility improvements, capital construction, or purchase of non-permanent tangible items such as bleachers or restaurant equipment.