Barry County Fair Board disbands

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

After more than a year of struggling to get area citizens to help with the Barry County Fair, the board membership has voted to disband as of Oct. 31.

In an interview last year, Board President Ernest Ray said manpower and funding were issues the board had been struggling with, citing lack of sponsorships and a slowly diminishing board when members dropped off and were not replaced.

The annual event is one where local students show and market their animals without having to drive some distance, such as the Springfield Ozark Empire Fair.

"County kids can't take their animals somewhere else and get into the premium sale," Ray explained. "They only have the chance to market their animals at the Barry County premium, unless they go to Springfield. But a lot of kids don't go anywhere besides the Barry County Fair."

Premiums from the annual livestock show were paid to students for their market animals.

Ray said the Barry County Youth Fair had been a tradition as long as he can remember.

"The members of the Barry County Fair Board would like to express their appreciation to all of the sponsors, donors and volunteers that have helped make the Barry County Youth Fair a success," said Janet DeShazer, reporter for the board. "Without their help, it couldn't have been done."

During the last four years, the Barry County Youth Fair Board was able to disburse over $40,000 to area youth who participated in the annual event.

"Sadly, at the October meeting the board voted to disband," DeShazer said.

All of the remaining Barry County Youth Fair assets will be distributed among area agricultural groups.

The 2011 Barry County Fair Board included: Ray; Tina and Tom Autrey, vice presidents; Sherri Sanders, secretary; Kelly Mills, treasurer; Janet DeShazer, reporter; and Bobbie Jo Meeks, Dave Harris, Suzan Harris, Keith Parker, Mark Moller, Randy Steward, Chad Yarnall and Kor Catlett, members.

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