Fair Winners Named at Annual TAF Convention
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Fentress County Fair received the coveted Champion of Champions Fair award for 2007 during the 86th Annual Tennessee Association of Fairs Convention held January 17-19 in Nashville. The awards are sponsored annually by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and the Tennessee Association of Fairs.
State Agriculture Commissioner Ken Givens presented the awards during the Merit Awards dinner, attended by more than 800 fair managers, vendors and volunteers at the Nashville Airport Marriott Hotel on Saturday evening of the conference. More than 50 of the state’s top county agricultural fairs were recognized for outstanding achievement during the 2007 fair season.
The Fentress County Fair was also recognized by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and TAF President Richard Shadden with the “Award of Merit” based on overall operations, educational value and promotion of agriculture and the local community.
“Fairs are a valuable part of the agricultural industry by showcasing the best that our farms, agribusinesses and communities have to offer,” said Givens. “We’re especially excited about how the Agricultural Enhancement program is helping fairs improve facilities that serve the agricultural community. We hope to build upon this partnership and help fairs across the state expand their agricultural focus.”
State divisional champion awards went to the DeKalb County Fair, Division “A”; the Middle Tennessee District Fair (Lawrenceburg), Division “AA”; and the Coffee County Fair, Division “AAA.”
In other divisional awards, the Overton County and Van Buren County fairs were named 1st and 2nd Runners-up respectfully, and the Sequatchie County Fair was named Most Improved in Division “A.” The Dyer County and Henry County fairs were named 1st and 2nd Runners-up, and the Dickson County Fair was named Most Improved in Division “AA.” In Division “AAA,” 1st and 2nd Runner-up honors went to the Robertson County and Putnam County fairs, and the Most Improved award went to the Anderson County Fair.
In Premiere Awards given by the Fair Association, White County, Warren County and Wilson County fairs were named Champion of Champions in their respective categories.
The 9th Annual Fair Showcase competition held during the convention consisted of 297 entries from 50 fairs in 26 different categories including best catalog, Web site, educational display and promotional items. Fairs competed for prize money and trophies sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.
In 2007, nearly 3 million visitors attended county and regional agricultural fairs in Tennessee. Fairs in Tennessee generate more than $12 million in gross receipts annually. More than 12,000 volunteers from 59 fairs in the state devote time and energy to fairs, which feature about 39,000 exhibitors of livestock, crops and other agricultural products and services.
Look for the 2008 dates for a Tennessee fair near you at the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Market Development Web site at www.picktnproducts.org. The 87th annual convention of the Tennessee Association of Fairs will be held Jan. 15-17, 2009 in Nashville.