The Arkansas Department of Agriculture recently provided more than $1.7 million in funding to Arkansas fairs for 2021.

This funding includes $724,272 in agri fair funding to county fairs, the Four States Fair, the Arkansas-Oklahoma Fair, and the Arkansas State Fair, and construction funding totaling $1,046,000 to county and district fairs.

“Fairs are great venues to showcase our state’s largest industry and they provide opportunities for Arkansas youth to learn more and be involved in the agriculture industry,” said Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. “We hope that fairs across the state will be able to have their scheduled events this year after the Coronavirus forced many events to cancel last year.”

Agri fair funding is paid to help cover costs of fair operations and other fair-related expenses. Construction funding has historically been paid to counties and districts every other year to cover routine maintenance and/or improvements to fair facilities. In 2021 the Arkansas General Assembly granted recipients of construction funding flexibility to utilize the funding to defray other unavoidable expenses and needs created by the Coronavirus.

Livestock and Poultry Division inspectors provided thousands of hours at fairs across the state to complete health inspections of exhibition animals and to ensure that the applicable animal health regulatory requirements are satisfied. In 2019, the last full year of fair events before the Coronavirus, Livestock and Poultry inspectors provided 3,626 hours at 76 Arkansas fairs.

“It’s an honor to partner with fairs across the state to help promote Arkansas agriculture while also helping ensure the health of exhibition animals and the livestock and poultry industries,” said Patrick Fisk, Director of the Department’s Livestock and Poultry Division.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation.