The 2020 Custer County Fair is currently scheduled for July 24 through July 30 at the Custer County Fairgrounds.
The Ag Society assigned board members to oversee various events during the fair and also went over a rough schedule for the fair (subject to change due to COVID-19 and state health measures):
- Clothing/Fashion Show on July 16
- Dog Show on July 24
- Free Pit BBQ July 27
- Bull Riding July 27
- Ultimate Bull Fighting July 28
- Tractor Pedal Pull July 29
- Livestock Auction July 30
- No Ministerial Association Concert
- No Parade
- No Square Dance
- No Teen Dance
- No youth livestock judging on Thursday morning
- No Open Horse Show
- No Open Class Exhibits
- No Shooting Sports (will be held via postal match instead)
Following the financial report on Thursday night, a motion was approved to have the Ag Society president, vice president, treasurer, and fairground administrator on the signature cards for the general, events, livestock, and savings accounts. All checks will require duel control with two signers for each check.
Extension Educator Troy Walz reported that COVID-19 safety plans for the fair have been submitted to the Loup Basin Public Health Department (LBPHD) for the 4-H events. Plans are needed for venues with a 500-person occupancy. Walz said self-health checks will be necessary for staff and volunteers during the fair and thermometers will be on site if necessary along with hand sanitizer.
Walz said livestock auction signups will be held online and a LBPHD plan still needs to be submitted for this event. Walz said numbers of beef, swine, and sheep are on target with years past while numbers of horses, goats, and rabbits are down for this year’s fair. The 4-H superintendents will have another meeting on July 20.
The 4-H Council will hold a Zoom meeting on July 13 at 7:30 p.m. and the 4-H clothing and fashion show will be held on Thursday, July 16 at the Broken Bow Evangelical Free Church and Challenge Center Building. (Click here for the CUSTER COUNTY FAIR PLANS FOR 4-H FAMILIES AS OF JUNE 24, 2020.) The judging day will not be open to the public and will only allow the 4-H’er and immediate family. Video clips of each fashion show entry will be taken and compiled into a virtual fashion show that will be available for viewing at a later date.
Grounds Manager JJ Martin said during the meeting that a new American flag is needed due to one being damaged. He also said he is preparing the fairgrounds for more events and has hired a girl to help clean restrooms during the fair.
Administrator Michelle Nelson said stall and hookup fees brought in money during a recent reining event and the Sandhills Showdown is coming up this week along with some barrel races. Nelson was granted permission to purchase various software programs and virus protection for the new fairgrounds laptop and to oversee advertising costs for the county fair. Nelson also said she is working on finding camper spots for a few more families during the fair; there are approximately 70 spots total.
Edward Spanel of the Edward T. Spanel Family Farm (Established 1919) has been named the recipient of the 2020 Aksarben Farm Family Award for Custer County. According to a press release posted by KRVN on June 18, “Each year, Aksarben pays homage to the dedicated and hard-working Nebraskan families who have met the incredible milestone of owning at least forty-acres of farmland within one family for one-hundred or one-hundred and fifty years, respectively.”
Local representatives of the Nebraska Farm Bureau and Michelle Nelson will work with Aksarben to hand out the award to the Spanel family rather than present the award during the fair.
The board discussed this year’s tax levy request and voted to request the standard annual 2.5% increase from the Custer County Board of Supervisors as well as an additional 1% increase.
The fairgrounds is hosting the Mid-States Rodeo Finals September 18-20 but many details are still to be determined. The fairgrounds is set to host the finals each year through 2023.
A brief special meeting was held by the board on June 25. A motion was approved to have Dana Cole handle accounting services for the Ag Society as of July 1, 2020. In addition, the board voted to not install 10 new camper spots before the fair but keep the funds raised at the Winter Ball designated for that project. The motion to not install the camper hookups was made due to concerns that the project would not be completed in time for fair due to delays in obtaining materials.
KCNI/KBBN is scheduled to be at the fairgrounds during the Custer County Fair and will be bringing you interviews with 4-H and FFA participants, some video broadcasts from the show arena on our Facebook page, a live broadcast during the livestock auction, as well as live music requests on KCNI during the Free Pit BBQ! Stay tuned.