The AgStar Fund for Rural America, the corporate giving program of AgStar Financial Services, recently awarded $69,000 in grants through its county fair facility upgrade grant program, $24,000 more than last year. Twenty-four county fair programs received $3,000 grants to use toward fairground agricultural building improvements.
The mission of this program is to support rural areas and county fair organizations as upgrades or maintenance are done on fairground livestock buildings, 4-H buildings or livestock judging arenas. Every county in AgStar’s 69-county service area is eligible to apply for a grant up to $3,000 if it has not received a grant in the last two years.
“Maintenance of old county fair buildings is costly and many fairs struggle to stay on top of their upkeep,” said John Monson, Chair of AgStar’s Fund Board of Trustees. “AgStar is proud to offer these grants to support county fairs as they are vital to the agricultural community. Helping them succeed is a central part of our mission.”
The 24 Minnesota and Wisconsin organizations receiving grants this year include: Rice County 4-H Federation, Jackson County Fair Association, Pierce County Fair and Fairgrounds, Sibley County Agricultural Association, Dodge County Agricultural & Mechanical Society, Northern Wisconsin State Fair Association, Inc., Fillmore County 4-H Market Livestock Committee, Wright County Agricultural Society, Cottonwood County Ag Society, McLeod County Agricultural Association, Polk County Fair Society Inc., Barron County 4H and Youth Horse Project, Blue Earth County Fair Association, Rock County Agricultural Society, Steele County Free Fair, Brown County Agricultural Society, Benton County Ag Society, Crow Wing County Fair Association, Sawyer County Fair Association, Pipestone County Fair, Winona County Agricultural & Industrial Fair Association, Dakota County Agricultural Society and the Faribault County Fair.
Since its inception in 2001, the AgStar Fund has donated more than $4 million to organizations working to improve the future of rural America. Support must align with the Fund’s mission of enhancing life in agriculture and rural America.