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Fair Changes Impact Oakdale Exhibitors
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The triple digit temperatures kept many people away on Sunday, July 18 but it was a perfect opportunity to walk onto the rides with little waiting at the Stanislaus County Fair in Turlock. See additional photos, Page A2. - photo by Kim Van Meter/The Leader
Changes were made to this year’s Stanislaus County Fair, one of them being that the fair’s date was moved to take place sooner in the month since the California State Fair did the same. However, even though the county fair dates were adjusted, there is still overlap with the state fair. In some cases, it worked out for some exhibitors to show at both fairs, but not for all of them.Oakdale FFA advisor Ed Hartzell stated that the overlap in dates especially affected breeding beef exhibitors, causing the junior exhibitors to have to make a choice to show at one fair or the other. Both fairs offer the traditional midway, carnival games, entertainment and food in addition to the exhibits, shows and auctions.A significant change was made to the annual junior livestock auction this year, which has traditionally taken place on the final Saturday of the fair. The livestock auction features all the junior exhibitors’ market animals fit for sale at the fair. The sale has grown in size and last year it ran into the late evening hours.New livestock superintendent John Mendes implemented a change that has market steers selling on Thursday, July 22 at 5 p.m., the annual dairy replacement heifer sale keeping its place on Friday evening, and then the rest of the livestock selling at the auction on Saturday, July 24 starting at 8 a.m. The annual awards assembly for the exhibitors, which had traditionally taken place in the morning before the start of the auction, will now take place on the Sunday, July 25.“Something needs to be done,” Hartzell said. “I don’t know if this is the answer.”Others involved with exhibiting at the fair have also expressed some concerns about splitting up and spreading out the junior livestock auction over the course of two days.Still more changes have come directly to Oakdale and its Junior Livestock Boosters that supports the prices of Oakdale 4-H and FFA exhibitors’ market animals at the fair. The Livestock Boosters represent the buyer when the animals go through the auction. Leading up to the fair, the exhibitors and their families, ideally, gather donations and get buyers for their animals. The Booster club can sometimes add extra money over market price toward the animal purchases, which is beneficial to the exhibitors.Oakdale Livestock Boosters president Greg Rivera and treasurer Carrie Northcutt reported that there was no carryover money from last year and that the Boosters board voted to make a change for this year only to reward more money in auction support to those who collected more money.In the past, the Booster Club has typically spread the support money evenly for auction animals amongst the Oakdale 4-H and FFA exhibitors, regardless of the level of participation and fundraising. Northcutt said that their goal is to try to get people back involved in the Booster Club; therefore, the board made the vote to make a change for this year. She said that depending on how it goes at the fair, the board will decide if it will need to change its bylaws to make this year’s experiment permanent.The Booster Club is still collecting sponsors to support the auction. The cut-off date for donations is Friday, Aug. 6 for this year. Northcutt reported that the annual donor appreciation dinner and auction for donors who’ve made donations for $50 or more has been moved to a new location and will be held at the Gene Bianchi Community Center. The dinner this year will also be catered.To donate, make checks payable to the Oakdale Livestock Boosters. For more information, contact Rivera at (209) 847-3252 or Northcutt at (209) 681-5776.