Georgia National Fair
The 2018 Florida Federation Fall Fair trip was to the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agri Center in Perry, Georgia.35 members representing 7 fairs attended making it the most well attended trip ever, according to Lisa Hinton, Federation Executive Director.
Mr .Stephen Shimp, Executive Director and his fabulous staff rolled out the red carpet and treated us royally. Some members had already been there but for many of us it was our first experience and it surely made a lasting impression.This is the 28th year for the 11 day event that covers about 300 acres.The big buzz this year was their brand new birthing center for cows and pigs called the Baby Barn. We had the honor of Mr. Gary Black, Georgia’s Commissioner of Agriculture, giving us the tour. Just watching children (and some of us adults too) see a baby calf being born was a thrill.A gentleman on the microphone was talking us through it and explaining every action.You can even download the GNF app for “Push Notifications” so you can be notified when a birth is within 5 to 10 minutes.
The Agri Center displayed 10’ photographs recognizing every one of their 159 counties and their agriculture.
Keaton Walker, Sponsorship & Special Program Coordinator, shared her enthusiasm for the youth in agriculture programs.She said “We consider our fair the Super Bowl for our 4-H and FFA members.” Their School House Program involves between 10-15,000 students and their Rally Group Program involves another 25,000.They have over 5,500 livestock entries.
Aside from livestock and their 70 ride midway they also boast a beautiful multi-purpose indoor arena that seats 8,300.During the fair it’s used for concerts but the rest of the year a variety of events are held including Paso Fino horse shows, barrel races, etc.
Mr. Shimp shared that they haven’t raised the gate price of $10 in years and have no intention of doing so because they strive to stay affordable for the masses.He also said their property is used for about 250 other events throughout the year from large occasions to small weddings. Plans are underway for a new 60,000 sf event building.