Compeer Awards $241K For County Fair Improvements

Compeer Financial’s Fund for Rural America is supporting county fairs with grants to improve facilities and also experiences offered to rural communities across the Upper Midwest. Sixty-one fairs received County Fair Facility Upgrade Grants this year, totaling $241,850.

“County fairs are an integral part of summer experiences for rural communities,” said Karen Schieler, senior corporate giving specialist at Compeer Financial. “These grants aid fairgrounds in supporting necessary updates. These improve the experience for exhibitors and are also enjoyed by the thousands of visitors attending fairs each year.”

Of this year’s applicants:

  • 37% have needs for electric, lighting or also ventilation improvements to improve security and safety
  • 25% have needs for building upgrades, enhancing exhibitor and public experiences
  • 24% have needs for structural repairs to extend the life of the buildings
  • 15% have needs for new or repairing animal pens and stalls. This is needed to accommodate increasing numbers of exhibitors and also support the safety of animals, exhibitors and the public

Since the program was established in 2018, the Fund has awarded 422 County Fair Facility Upgrade Grants for a total impact of over $1.4 million. They have touched the lives of 11.1 million fair organizers, participants and attendees. The Fund also intends to offer this grant again in March 2025.

Of the 61 organizations in Compeer Financials’ territory receiving support, 21 are from Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Recipients

  • Adams County Agricultural Society, Inc.: poultry barn fans and bleachers for animal shows and livestock auction
  • Alto Fair Inc.: upgrading hog panels
  • Ashland County Fair: purchasing bleachers for the animal exhibit arena
  • Blake’s Prairie Junior Fair: sheep and swine exhibit addition
  • Buffalo County Fair Association: replacing beef barn boards, adding a ventilation in the beef and swine buildings and also adding pens in the goat area
  • Calumet County Agricultural Association: replacing steel ibeams and block, installing new windows and overhead door in the dairy arena
  • Crawford County Fair: updating electrical outlets and adding new breaker boxes in the exhibits building and 4-H food stand and also replacing beef barn poles
  • Eau Claire County Friends of the Fair: new goat pens
  • Elroy Fair Association: rewiring, new lighting and adding tunnel ventilation in the hog barn
  • Green County Agricultural Society and Mechanics Institute: LED lighting upgrades in the sheep and goat barn, hog building and also show building
  • Green Lake County Fair: new pens in the poultry and rabbit barn, electrical wiring and fans for the sheep and swine barn, and also adding fans in the dairy and beef barn
  • Iron County Fair Association: adding a roof over the 4-H livestock and horse washing and grooming outdoor facility, and also structural and roof repairs and windows in the 4-H horse training and event management structure
  • Lodi Agricultural Fair: extend Wi-Fi coverage from the fair office to the livestock buildings
  • Pierce County Friends of the Fair: updating electrical breaker panels and adding outlets and LED lighting to the arena barn
  • Polk County Fair Society Inc.: upgrading the sound system in the livestock barns and show barn
  • Racine County Agricultural Society Inc.: LED lighting upgrade in the 4-H and beef barns
  • Rusk County Small Animal Project: purchasing wall mount fans, lumber, paint and materials to build tables and also purchasing additional hanging feed and water pans for small animals
  • Sawyer County Agricultural Fair Association: replacing stalls in the pig barn
  • Trempealeau County Ag Society, Inc.: improving the drainage in the horse arena
  • Washburn County Junior Fair Association: painting the dairy and beef barn
  • Winnebago County Fair Association: adding electrical outlets and replacing barn fans

For more information about the Country Fair Facility Upgrade Program, visit