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Local Agricultural Fair State Aid Program Requirements

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Local Agricultural Fair State Aid Program Requirements

General Rules and Regulations The Kentucky State Aid to Local Agricultural Fairs Program came into being in 1962, created by an act of the General Assembly. The program is designed to promote local agricultural fairs through grants of State funds. The Commissioner of Agriculture has charge of the Aid to Fairs Program, and it is administered by the Department of Agriculture's Division of Shows and Fairs.

The Commissioner is advised on matters concerning administration of the program by the Kentucky Fair Council, a group composed of various government and agricultural leaders. Grants made to local agricultural fairs through the program are calculated on a matching funds basis with each dollar of State funds being matched with funds from the local area. The amount of any grant is based on the amount spent by the local fair board in the three qualifying areas listed below.

  • Agricultural Premium Program
  • Horse Events Premium Program
  • Harness Horse Racing Program

Local agricultural fairs must meet various requirements of the Department of Agriculture in order to qualify for these grants of State funds.

General Eligibility Requirements for State Aid

    To be eligible for grants of State Funds as provided in the Kentucky Revised Statutes 247.220 a local fair board must:

  • Conduct an annual fair running for at least three consecutive days.
  • Incorporate its Fair Board.
  • Present an educational program concerning agriculture through the medium of youth organizations such as 4-H, FFA, FHA, etc.
  • Provide for some divisions to be open divisions - open to both youth and adult exhibitors.
  • Have the following organizations represented in at least an advisory capacity on the Fair Board:
    • Local Farm Bureau
    • County Extension Service
    • Vocational Agriculture (FFA)
    • Local Livestock Association (if one exists)
    • Local Horsemen's Association (if one exists)
  • Publish an official fair catalog which includes:
    • A schedule of events planned as part of the fair.
    • A listing of fair officials and their responsibilities.
    • Local fair rules, regulations, and policies.
    • The State's Livestock Health Requirements for Exhibition.
    • A complete listing of all classes and events and the premiums offered in each.
  • Meet the requirements of the Division of Show and Fair Promotion for submitting certain reports:
    • Request for State Aid Form by March 1.
    • Open Dairy and Beef Show Information Form by May 1.
    • Rough copy of catalog at least 45 days before the fair opens.
    • Printed copy of catalog at least 30 days before the fair opens.
    • Complete financial statement of the fair no later than December 1.

Agricultural Premium Program

The Agricultural Premium Program assists fairs in paying premiums and awards on agricultural related exhibits, shows, and contests. Fairs may receive up to $4,500 per year on a matching basis for these approved classes.

  • Livestock Shows. Any farm livestock, such as cattle, swine, sheep goats, etc., showmanship and fitting classes are also included.
  • Livestock Performance Classes such as milk production for dairy cattle, average daily gain contests for market animals, etc.
  • Halter Horses or Mules. Must be listed in the catalog and on the Financial Report as being halter classes.
  • Crops (tobacco, hay, grain, seed, etc.).
  • Garden Produce and Fruits.
  • Poultry and Poultry Products.
  • Bees and Honey.
  • Farming-related Judging Contests (livestock, tobacco, seed identification, etc.).
  • Foods (cooking, canning, preservation, etc.).
  • Any class limited to exhibits produced in conjunction with an approved 4-H, FFA or FHA project. Must be clearly listed in the official fair catalog as part of the 4-H, FFA or FHA Division or Department.

    * The following classes became eligible for funding in 1998:
  • Flowers
  • Clothing
  • Home Furnishings
  • Handicrafts
  • Antiques

Horse Events Premium Program

The Horse Events Premium Program assists fairs in paying premiums and awards for any shows, contests, or other events which primarily involve horses (harness horse racing is not included, as it receives aid through a separate program). Fairs may receive up to $2,000 per year on a matching basis for approved horse events classes. Approved local agricultural fairs are eligible for State Matching funds of up to $2,000 per fair for payment of premiums and awards in the following classes:
A. Horse Shows (English, Western, Walking, 4-H, etc.) Note: This includes all horse show classes with the exception of horses which are shown at halter. Halter classes should be reported separately as "Livestock Classes".
B. Horse Racing.
C. Horse, Pony or Mule Pulling Contests.

Harness Horse Racing Program

The Harness Horse Racing Program assists fairs in paying purses for harness horse racing. Fairs may receive up to $7,000 per year on a matching basis for harness racing, with a maximum of $750/race being matched by State funds.

Required Reports and Due Dates

Report Due
Request for State Aid to Local Agricultural Fairs March 1
Open Class Dairy and Beef Show Form Information Form May 1
Open Class Goat Show Form Information Form May 1
Open Class Hog Show Form Information Form May 1
Open Class Sheep Information Form May 1
Request for State Aid for the Building Program Currently not funded at this time
Rough copy of the official fair catalog At least 45 days prior to opening of fair
Final printed copy of the official fair catalog At least 30 days prior to opening of fair
Financial Report of the Building Program Currently not funded at this time
Financial Statement and Record of Entries 45 days after closing of fair or no later than December 1*

*IMPORTANT: No report can be accepted for payment after December 1. Reports received by the Division of Shows and Fairs after this date will require special action by the Kentucky Fair Council to be approved for payment. This will result in payment either being delayed or not approved for payment at all.