Since 1945, our local county fair has been a summertime staple in our community. It is a time for us to celebrate summer, agriculture, and our county’s youth. The 4-H program is intimately engrained with the Marshall County 4-H Fair. In fact, currently the fairgrounds are operated by a board that is a 4-H affiliate. All 4-H affiliates are connected to Purdue University as the state land-grant university which oversees 4-H in Indiana.
Our fairgrounds have evolved and grown in the seven decades since Purdue University’s 4-H program volunteers created the Marshall County 4-H Fair Association, Inc. We have a new community building, Marshall County Community Center. This building along with our other year-round facilities could not be imagined by the pioneers of our county fair. Our fair association rents our facilities throughout the year in addition to coordinating the county fair over 7 days in July.
The world is different today than it was in 1945. The world is even different from last December. Because of the changes in our world over the last seven decades, we are excited to present a new model to deliver the county fair in the New Year. Purdue University, its Marshall County Extension staff, the Marshall County 4- H Council, and the Marshall County 4-H Fair Association, Inc collaborated to identify a new organizational structure, giving flexibility to the county fair now and in the future. These changes will allow the fairgrounds to reinvest in itself and continue to support the 4-H program in Marshall County.
In the coming weeks, the Marshall County 4-H Fair Association, Inc. will become the Marshall County Fair Association, Inc. The fair will continue. The fair’s support of 4-H youth will continue. These changes will result in a strengthened 4-H program and facility to support all members of our community. These changes are unique to our county.
What works here may not work in other counties across the state. We are proud to work together to invest in the future of the youth of Marshall County. Will things look different for the Marshall County Fairgrounds in the future? Yes; and the mission to support the 4-H program and youth remains the same. We are excited to see what can occur in the future with this new organizational structure.