Importance of county fairs discussed during ag appropriations hearing

The head of the Michigan Association of Fairs and Expos says infrastructure needs across the state remain far greater than available dollars.

Executive Director John Schut testified this week before the Michigan House Ag Appropriations subcommittee about demand for the state’s County Fairs Capital Improvements Grant program.

“This past year there was $2.5 million for requests, right now that’s about a $500,000 funded item and those applications are from throughout the state,” he explained.

The state funded nearly $1.5 million in grants for building and facility renovations last year and has more than $1.4 million for the fiscal year 2023.

“As a former teacher, I think it’s very important that we provide community activities for our youth and our family to enjoy,” he stressed.

The former Caledonia agriscience teacher said the events offer students insights into agricultural careers and hands-on learning opportunities.

Governor Whitmer has proposed $500,000 in funding for the grants in 2024.

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