Fair leaders consider policy updates

Premium checks may come in the mail this year

Okanogan County Fair Queen Katie Keane presents poster artwork ideas to Okanogan County Fair Advisory Committee members and residents during the committee’s regular meeting Thursday, Feb. 7.

Photo by Brock Hires
Okanogan County Fair Queen Katie Keane presents poster artwork ideas to Okanogan County Fair Advisory Committee members and residents during the committee’s regular meeting Thursday, Feb. 7.

OKANOGAN — Okanogan County Fair Advisory Committee Members had first and second readings on several policy updates that, if approved, will be effective for this year’s fair, Sept. 5-8.

Policy updates ranged from preregistration dates to animal weigh-in procedures.

All market beef must be preregistered 90 days prior to the fair. All beef, swine, sheep, goats and alpacas must be registered by Aug. 16, and exhibitors must declare the number of animals they plan to exhibit at the fair at that time. There will be a noon deadline on Aug. 31, for all exhibits registrations to be submitted either online, by mail or in person at the fair office.

The group also discussed proposed changes to market animal weighing.

Exhibitors may bring both registered animals to be weight at the fair during weigh-ins.

In the case of two registered animals, the exhibitor must declare which animal is their main animal at weighing. If that animal makes weight it must be used. If the animal does not make weight, the animal may be brought back before 5 p.m. on check-in day, at which time the primary animal will be weighed in first and secondary animal will be weighed second. The animals will only be allowed to re-weigh one time. In the case of one registered animal, if the animal is overweight or underweight by five pounds, it will be allowed to be brought back before 5 p.m. to be weighed a second time. It will only be allowed to be re-weighed one time.

Following discussion on goats and pigs that fell ill at last year’s fair, barn superintendents encouraged the board to include a policy that would allow the livestock committee to remove any animal for good cause.

The committee also discussed the ongoing issue of dogs on the fair grounds. The group agreed that only certified service dogs will be allowed, and emotional support animals will be prohibited on fairgrounds.

The committee is also hoping to distribute premium check by the mail this year, instead of them being available for pick up at the fairgrounds.

Fair committee member Wanda McFarland said crews waited in Jones’ Hall thought the day last year and few people picked up their checks in person.

“It’s a waste of time,” she said, recommending the committee update its police to state checks will be “mailed after fair to the address provided” on registration documents.

In other business, the committee:

Heard a report from Okanogan County Fair Queen Katie Keane. She said she contacted local school districts to see if students were interested in submitting artwork to be considered for the fair poster and premium book cover.

She said she received two submitted entries and created one herself.

Keane also reported she was considering making wooden photo props to place around the fairground for her queen’s project.

Heard a facilities update from Okanogan County Commissioner Andy Hover. Hover reported he hopes to have the arena, racetrack and a modular horse stall facility complete by June. He said the project will go out for estimates and panels from the current arena would be surpluses. The fair received a matching grant last year for the project.

Heard a financial report from Okanogan County Deputy Treasurer Pam Johnson. She said the fair had expenditures last month in the amount of $1,109 for queen supplies and ear tags.

The committee will meet again at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 14. The location of the meeting is to be determined.


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