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By Echo Menges
Letters asking for support in the way of purchasing ads in a “fair book” and sponsoring “livestock shows” for the Knox County MO Fair have been sent to businesses throughout Knox and surrounding counties by the Knox County MO Fair Association, which has caused some confusion.
The University of Missouri Extension office in Edina, which is responsible for organizing the Knox County 4-H/FFA Fair, has received several phone calls from local business owners wanting to know if the letter they received last week was related to the Knox County 4-H/FFA Fair held at the Edina Town Square every summer. The answer to that question is no, it’s not.
On Thursday, January 24, 2013, we received one of these letters at The Edina Sentinel office and can see why folks are confused. There are two separate and unrelated to each other fairs in Knox County with very close to the same names. It’s fairly confusing.
“Last year (businesses) got hit early for this and when we sent out letters they thought they already paid in support of 4-H and FFA. The whole thing stinks and it’s most definitely crossing a boundary,” said Knox County 4-H/FFA Fair Board President Larry Henderson. “Why not just call it the Newark Fair?”
“I’ve been using that name for three years. It’s been licensed to use in Knox County,” said Knox County MO Fair representative Daniel Bock. “I’ve bought a business license at the courthouse every year for it.”
Bock says the name of his business wasn’t meant to tread on the Knox County 4-H/FFA Fair’s name and that it’s common for there to be two fair organizations in a county.
“The 4-H/FFA Fair in Edina anyone can come and watch but they can’t participate,” said Bock. “(Ours is) just an organization very similar to Corn Fest. It’s all open shows and allows anyone to enter and compete in livestock shows.”
“They’re both good programs and they both deserve support, but people need to know what they’re supporting,” said MU Extension 4-H Coordinator Karen Loyd-Minear.
According to Minear letters asking for support for the Knox County 4-H/FFA Fair will be mailed out within the next few weeks and will have the 4-H and FFA names and logos on them, which is the best way for a prospective donor, advertiser or sponsor to know they are giving to the Knox County 4-H/FFA Fair.
Here are a few details that outline the differences between the two fairs.
The Knox County 4-H/FFA Fair has been going on since 1937. It is held at the 4-H/FFA Pavilion on the Edina Town Square every summer. The Knox County 4-H/FFA Fair Board and University of Missouri Extension office organize it and it’s geared mainly to 4-H and Future Farmers of America members. This year the Knox County 4-H/FFA Fair will be held Monday through Friday, July 8-12.
The Knox County MO Fair has been going on since 2011. It is held at the Newark Town Square in conjunction with the Newark Old Fashioned Festival every summer. It is organized by the Knox County MO Fair Association, which is licensed to Daniel Bock of Newark. It is geared to anyone who wishes to participate. This year the Knox County MO Fair will be held Thursday through Sunday, June 13-16.