BROKEN BOW—The annual meeting for the Custer County Ag Society was held on Thursday, November 12 and wrapped up what President Kent Nelson calls “a year for the record books.”
Elections were held for three seats on the board; Kent Nelson, Ira Spanel, and Blair Hartman were all voted to serve on the board for a three-year term.
The Ag Society Annual Board Meeting began at 8 p.m. with approximately 30 people in attendance in addition to the board members. President Kent Nelson, Treasurer Ira Spanel, Grounds Manager J.J. Martin, and Administrator Michelle Nelson gave their annual reports of the fairgrounds.
Minutes from the 2019 annual meeting were approved and an outline of the one, three, and five year plans for the Custer County Fairgrounds were discussed. The year 2020 saw a successful fourth annual Winter Ball which raised more than $21,000. The 2021 Winter Ball is currently scheduled for January 30.
COVID-19 forced the Ag Society to close the gates at the fairgrounds from March 19 to June 1, host virtual meetings, implement health plans for all events, and encourage social distancing during the Custer County Fair.
Grounds Manager J.J. Martin said even though COVID-19 forced the cancellation of many spring events, it was a busy summer and fall and fairgrounds staff was able to get many projects completed. He also thanked Chris Ogle for all of his help during the Custer County Fair.
Michelle Nelson said the year was full of many uncertainties but was thankful for the evening entertainment during the fair and the fact that kids were able to show their exhibits. A $16,000 grant from Custer County Tourism helped to offset some of the costs associated with evening events during the fair, Mid States Rodeo Finals, and bringing multi-day events to the fairgrounds.
The 2021 Custer County Fair is currently scheduled for July 30 through August 5.
“It was a year that presented some challenges and I want to thank the staff for all their hard work and dedication to the fairgrounds. I want to thank my fellow board members for their efforts to work through all of these challenges and a huge thank you to all the volunteers that helped throughout the year. Finally, thank you to the event producers for choosing our facility to hold your events,” Kent Nelson said.
Prior to the annual meeting, the monthly meeting was held at 7 p.m. on November 12 at which time the monthly reports were given and discussion of event contracts for 2021. Becky Pearson recommended leaving contracts the same but to encourage event producers to host multi-day events with possible incentives. She said the multi-day events also bring in more revenue from stall barn rentals and camper hookups. Marla Stallbaumer made a motion to table any decisions on event contracts.
Also during the regular meeting, the board voted to stay with lawyer Alan Wood out of Lincoln as he prepares to switch law firms. A man from the audience said on Thursday night that he believes Wood is an expert in dealing with legal proceedings of fair boards and recommended the Ag Society continue to use Wood’s services as needed.
The Ag Society voted to pay registration fees for those attending the Nebraska Association of Fair Managers Conference, currently scheduled for January. The board heard from Aflac representative Lindsey Bartak regarding possible supplemental insurance for fairgrounds employees. No decisions were made.
The Custer County 4-H Recognition Night will be held virtually on Friday, November 20.