Several businesses recently made a cooperative donation of $4,000 to the Marion County Fair Association, and fair association president Chuck McLinden said the money went to good use.
“What we did was use that money to pay for improvements in the rabbit and poultry barn,” McLinden said. “Specifically we put vents in the roof to allow the air to flow through better.”
McLinden said previously hot temperatures and lack of air movement in the rabbit/poultry barn made exhibitors leary of bringing their animals for competition.
“It is our 100 percent intention to make this a better experience for everyone involved and to improve the facilities so exhibitors will want to bring their animals and leave them all week for everyone to enjoy,” he said.
Laura Dailey, parent of fair rabbit division supervisor Jacob Dailey, said the county fair experience was better than ever for her family, and their rabbits, this year.
“The air vents pulled the heat out. That plus the two swamp fans that Rickey Roberts got for the barn, made it a very nice place to be this year,” Dailey said. “This was the first time in I don’t know how many years, that the rabbits and poultry stayed all week of the fair.”
Dailey said improvements made possible by the local donations were so important to 4-H exhibitors who invested a lot of time and money in their project.
“Jacob was named Kansas Rabbit Breeders Association King last week in Hutchinson,” she said. “Next weekend he will be exhibiting in the National Rabbit Show in Wichita. If he had lost his breeding stock at the county fair because of heat this year, like has happened in the past, he would not be on the path to success that he is now.”
Cooperative Grain and Supply, Land ‘O’ Lakes, Ampride, and several other businesses formed the cooperative that donated money to the fair association.
McLinden said any funds left over from the rabbit/poultry barn improvements, which cost the fair association around $3,500, would be applied to other improvements at the fairgrounds in Hillsboro.