Leaders Rejuvenate and Inspire Agricultural Fairs
By: Marla Behrends
Springfield, ILó Almost 3,000 members and guests attended the 106th annual convention in Springfield, IL.
"The year has been tough, but we were still able to put on great activities for our communities all around the state," said Ron Meyer, IAAF President.
Raymond Poe, new Illinois Director of Agriculture agreed, "We still donít have a budget or a state fair manager, but the outlook is bright for agricultural fairs in Illinois."
He continued noting that "It is amazing all the hours you, the members, have put in, but we need that to be able to continue to provide opportunities for youth these days."
Senator Sam McCann told the group that it is vital to work closely with your legislator.
"We listen to your concern and we go on the line to represent you. We believe in the cause you are helping to promote," he said.
The members and guests also heard more inspiring comments from Marla Calico, International Association of Fairs and Expositions President and CEO.
"Itís about county fairs and the blood, sweat and tears you put into it to make it the best it can be for your communities," Calico commented. "The future of agricultural fairs is phenomenal. They fill a void in the community and across generations."
She also expressed her worry of the hard times that are hitting fairs, but the conventionís theme "Yes We Can!" really rang a bell with the crowd.
"That theme is a testament, proving that our future is bright for agricultural fairs," she added.
All agreed that the agricultural fair members will continue to work through all the challenges that come their way and come out on top to showcase agriculture in this great state.
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