Late stalling penalties for next year’s fair, Ag Society says

Jordan Gerard

Those entering animals for next year’s fair should be sure to get their registrations in on time in order to avoid penalties adopted by the Houston County Agricultural Society.

The society will let late entries and stall registrations go for this year because everyone had registered (even if they were late) and the board did not expect to get anymore stalling registrations.

4-H Coordinator Rebecca Paulson said every year there are a few people who get stalling in late and don’t pay until after the deadline. However, there are no consequences in writing for late entries, thus it’s hard to enforce. 

Fair board members said there are deadlines for a reason, and at other shows, if you don’t sign up, you can’t show.

There were also two sign-ups scheduled this year, Paulson added.

At other shows, the stalling fee doubles if it’s late and at the state fair, late stalling is not allowed. 

Superintendent Dan Alstad said every year is different with organizing animals. Sometimes it’s easier and sometimes more difficult.

Paulson said 4-H’s guidelines for late stalling allow kids to still show, but they are not eligible to receive a purple ribbon or a trip to state fair.

The board approved the adoption of 4-H’s rules for their own registrations and making it more clear in the Premium List next year.

Livestock building fundraiser

Treasurer Deb Houdek talked about activities the fundraising committee wanted to do in order to raise funds for the new livestock building.

At last month’s meeting, she discussed a haunted house in the horse barn. It will be called “Scare at the Fair” and run Oct. 18 and 19, and then 24 and 25.

Proceeds will support the Houston County Fair. Volunteers are needed to help build the haunted house or to work there. Kids must be ages 16 and over to volunteer.

They also discussed other potential fundraisers such as a battle of the bands or demo derby soccer, but no official decision was made on those.

Raffle drawings

The society approved cash and gun raffles during the fair. A gun from Wiebke Fur of Eitzen will be given away Friday, Saturday and Sunday, while the cash raffle will have $10 tickets to place your name on a square on a board of 1,000 squares and have two chances for a $500 jackpot.

Tribute Towers

A military exhibit titled “Remembering Our Fallen” will be on display during fair week. 

There will be about 32 towers with nearly 5,000 military personnel and personal photos of military members who have died during the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11.

Those who have also died as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder from the war are also on display. 

The program will take place on Thursday, Aug. 15, at 6:30 p.m. in the grandstand. There is no admission for this event, but donations are accepted, with those proceeds benefitting Freedom Honor Flight. Local musician Ryan Hower will also perform.

Lessons from other fairs

The society approved the purchase of several hand sanitizer machines to be mounted on the animal buildings and the replacement bags to go with them, in order to take more precautions with animals.

Winneshiek County Fair in Decorah recently experienced a bout with “sore mouth infection,” or ORF. They removed the animal from the grounds and notified the public via Facebook, though the post seems to be deleted. 

The machines are about $9 a piece with the replacement bags $10 a bag. Paulson will also give the society two boxes of pump bottles of sanitizer, which will also be around the grounds. The society was also checking with public health to see if they had any to provide.

The fair also made news when the fair board allegedly told two people with Trump attire to take it down, setting off a firestorm on social media. 

The Houston County Agricultural Society made clear their position on politics and said, “We remain neutral. We aren’t telling anyone anything.”

Other news

Friends of the Fair awards were nominated and chosen, but names will not be announced until the award ceremony.

The society approved a 4-H member to attend a horse show in Rochester the same day of the fair this year. 

She will enter her horse in the fair, take it off the grounds to attend the show in Rochester and come back to the fairground all in one day.

Next meeting

The next monthly meeting of the Houston County Agricultural Society is Aug. 18, at 6 p.m., at the fair grounds. The society does begin meeting monthly to discuss fair business in preparation for fair week.