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Thursday, April 10, 2014

What you probably never knew...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

   We receive the same questions regarding the operations of the fairgrounds and how operation funds are received, on a regular basis. Without proper information, rumors begin, and before long the misinformation causes ill feelings. The Fowlerville Family Fair strives to create great feelings and build wonderful relationships within the community. We are YOUR fair.


     The Fowlerville Family Fair is operated under the direction of the Fowlerville Agricultural Society Board of Directors. The Board of Directors are elected through the general membership at the annual meeting held in the first week of November. General membership is open to any Michigan resident willing to pay $25.00 for a three year period. The Board of Directors serve a three year term without term limitations and are a group of 15 with an added position from the Livingston County 4-H that serves as a liaison and receives full voting rights. Executive Board positions are an annual term with no term limits. The Board of Directors operated under Articles of Association and has Bylaws in place.
      In Michigan there is two different kinds of fairs. One is a Michigan Act 11 of 1929 Fair. An act 11 fair is a one that operates under the direction of the county in which it is located and often times a line item is set in the county's budget to assist in operations of the fairgrounds, both off season and for fair. The fairgrounds under Act 11 is owned by the county.

     The other kind of fair is the Michigan Act 80 of 1855 Fair. This is a Agricultural or Horticultural Society that usually operates as a not for profit organization. Most often there is not county or local funds that support the fair and grounds. The fairgrounds are either owned by the society or the society rents the grounds to hold the fair. The Fowlerville Family Fair is an Act 80 of 1855 Fair, and owns the fairgrounds. In 2009 the State chose to discontinue funding for all fairs in Michigan. Most of the 88 fairs in Michigan are like the Fowlerville Family Fair and operate solely on earned income. Earned income can come from renting the facility, sponsorships/donations, fair admission and winter storage.  In 2012 the State voted to place a line item into the budget for fairs, although it is done as a competitive grant for matching funds to be utilized as capital improvements to the grounds and must benefit the community in some way.

     Not all fairs are 4-H and FFA associated. After the loss of premium monies from the state in 2009 many chose to go with an Open Fair where association to either organization was not required. Fowlerville chose to maintain their relationship with the Livingston County 4-H. With this decision the costs of having 4-H on grounds increased but the hand off is educating the youth of the county in Agriculture and Home Arts.

    What we do on an annual basis is for the community. The majority of operations are completed by volunteers whom give hundreds of hours on an annual basis and truly have the fair in their best interest.

With this week being National Volunteer Appreciation Week, 
YOU make this all possible, and are irreplaceable.

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