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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Behind the scenes

Monday, July 16, 2012

(Photo)
Despite the fact that the calendar and schedule shows Putnam County Fair July 20-27, it seems the fair has started! Tents deployed on Friday followed by the first official events on Saturday of the 4-H Tractor Contest, the shooting competitions for all disciplines of 4-H Shooting Sports and the county Queen Contest. There is considerable activity that many do not realize in order for the fairgrounds to be available and useable not only during the fair but year around. For example, the fairgrounds are basically ran by volunteers and is not funded by nor owned by Putnam County government. It is the private property of the Putnam County Fair & 4-H Club Association, Inc. which is a 501(c)3 organization organized under the general income tax exemption number provided by USDA for all applicable 4-H affiliates.

While at the fair during the next couple of weeks, thank a Fairboard officer and member for their work to make the facility function. Numerous times throughout my career, I have heard people working at a fair for the first time say "Oh I did not realize we had to do all of this to set up" thinking that the place was just always ready to function. It takes a great amount of work and planning to have the facility ready and nearly all of the effort in Putnam County is done by volunteers. The efforts of the members through facility rental, donations and sponsorship fund the facility. Recently an endowment fund through the Putnam County Community Foundation has been set up to generate annual income for building and infrastructure maintenance. No tax dollars are used to fund the facility.

One of the neatest feels of the county fair is the sense of a community reunion where one will see and have the opportunity to visit with folks they may only see a few times per year. Where else in one setting could one have opportunity to discuss issues with elected officials, visit business and community leaders, see former 4-Hers who return home, visit neighbors, eat tasty food and most importantly celebrate the accomplishments of a summer of family learning in 4-H and open class.

Visit our website at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 653-8411 for more information regarding this week's column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time.

Upcoming events

July 16 -- 4-H Cat Show, Fairgrounds, 9:30 am

July 16 -- 4-H Fashion Revue, Fairgrounds, 7 pm

July 20-27 Putnam County Fair

July 28 State Fair Livestock Yellow Paper Signing, Fairgrounds, 9-11 am

July 29-30 State Fair Projects entered excl. Foods

August 1 4-H My Record of Achievement Help Session, Extension Office, 6:30 pm

August 6 National Night Out, Robe Ann Park, 5 pm

August 24 My Record of Achievement 4-H Form Due, Extension Office