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Fair names new General Manager

HARRISONBURG, VA, (NOV, 18, 2016) - A nationwide search for the new General Manager of the Rockingham County Fair is complete. Pamela W. “Pam” Edwards, a native of Williamsburg, WV has accepted the position and is looking to take over the helm on January 1st.

Rockingham County Fair President, Brian Carpenter said “We are truly excited to be able to have Pam as our new manager. She is passionate about agriculture, family, and fairs and that is at the core of who we are.”

Edwards will replace Jeff Ishee as General Manager who decided to leave and return to broadcasting.

Edwards, a graduate of Marshall University, has served in management and communications roles for several non-profit organizations for over a decade. She spent nine years with the State Fair of West Virginia where her roles included public relations/marketing, orchestrating special projects, hiring entertainers, managing concessionaires, operating retail souvenir booths, staff and volunteer training, and off-season programming. She earned the title of Certified Fair Executive from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions in March 2007.

Pam said, “I am thrilled to be selected as the General Manager of this wonderful operation. I am impressed by the beauty, quality of the events, and the support the community has for the fairgrounds.”

The first Rockingham County Fair was held at the Linville Ball Park during the summer of 1949. The fair has been held at the present site on US Rt. 11 since 1980 and has been recognized nationally as the top agricultural Fair in the nation on numerous occasions. The fairgrounds account for 111 acres of land, a 21,000-square-foot exhibit hall, a large barn complex, numerous buildings for horticulture and poultry exhibits, and food booths run by local civic organizations. There is also a large grandstand area for events such as concerts, tractor pulls, and demolition derbies.

Deborah Shifflett, Vice President of the Fair Association said "Mrs. Edwards will be a wonderful asset to the Rockingham County Fair Association and our community. We are looking forward to working with her as she continues to grow and improve our organization."

Edwards will be moving to the area from Lexington, KY, with her husband, Jim, and son, Jeff. Another son, Ben, will be staying in Kentucky to pursue a firefighter career.

The Rockingham County Fair Association is a non-profit organization that manages the Rockingham County Fair, Virginia’s premiere agricultural county fair. The fairgrounds are used throughout the year for a variety of events including fundraising activities, livestock breed shows, trade shows, exhibitions and community events.

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Fair to be recognized for agricultural excellence

HARRISONBURG - The Rockingham County Fair Association is slated to be recognized with a Joint Resolution issued by the Virginia House of Delegates and the Virginia Senate. The Joint Resolution commends the Fair for focusing on its “long-held goals of supporting local farmers, educating the public about agriculture, and promoting family farming.”

“This is a wonderful testament to the work accomplished by hundreds of volunteers,” said Jeff Ishee, Fair Association General Manager. “We work very hard to be the very best we can be and it is nice to see the efforts of our organization recognized by such a distinguished body.”

26th District Delegate Tony Wilt is expected to present the resolution to Rockingham County Fair Association President Brian Carpenter and Vice-President Deborah Shifflett on opening Day of the Fair, August 15. The presentation will take place at approx. 2 PM in the Virginia Poultry Industry Center.

The resolution commends the Rockingham County Fair for taking first place in the 2015 John Deere Overall Program for Competitive Agricultural Exhibitors. The award comes from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions, representing more than 1,100 County and State Fairs worldwide.

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Chickens, turkeys returning to Fair

HARRISONBURG, VA (April 28, 2016) – Cluck cluck! They’re coming back!

Officials with the Rockingham County Fair Association have rescinded the year-long ban on live bird exhibits at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds. The ban was implemented in the spring of 2015 due to a serious outbreak of avian influenza that posed a potential threat to bird health and the Virginia poultry industry.

“We look forward to having turkeys, chickens, ducks, geese and other fowl return to the Rockingham County Fair this year,” said Fair Association General Manager Jeff Ishee. “The live bird exhibits are always one of the most popular attractions during the annual county fair.”

In the spring of 2015, an outbreak of H5 Highly pathogenic avian influenza was confirmed in more than twenty states and caused the loss of more than 48 million chickens and turkeys. Poultry industry officials described the outbreak as “catastrophic.” The USDA categorized the incident as the largest animal health emergency in U.S. history.

Throughout its history, Rockingham County Fair livestock and poultry activities have been modified, restricted, and even canceled for animal health reasons. The recent ban on live bird exhibits applied not only for the 2015 Fair, but included all non-Fair activities at the fairgrounds. Rabbits were not impacted since there was no health threat.

The Rockingham County Fair works closely on animal health issues with a variety of agencies and veterinary experts. “Everyone we’ve talked to advised the ban could safely be lifted at this time,” said Ishee. “We are, however, continuously monitoring the situation and, if necessary, could reinstate the ban as a precautionary measure if further cases of avian flu are detected in our region.”

For the 2016 Fair, the Virginia Poultry Industry Center will continue to feature interactive displays and presentations about Virginia’s poultry industry and its important contribution to the state’s economy.

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2016 Fair Entertainment Announced

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The Rockingham County Fair is pleased to announce this summary of entertainment for 2016 Fair, which will be August 15 - 20, 2016 at the Fairgrounds in Harrisonburg.

(Pre-Fair) Sunday, August 14:

All-Breed Horse Show – Dozens of classes of horses competing for ribbons.

Sunday Evening Gospel Sing – The Chuck Wagon Gang; Back by popular demand, the Chuck Wagon Gang has now been singing for more than 8 decades and sold over 40 million records. FREE ADMISSION.


Monday, August 15: In concert – A Night with the Legends: Joe Diffie, Mark Chesnutt, and Diamond Rio. These Nashville favorites have a combined 18 No. 1 Singles. Fans of traditional country music will certainly enjoy this “Night with the Legends.” Advance tickets available March 25.

Tuesday, August 16: In concert – Hank Williams, Jr. with special guest Mo Pitney; The Rockingham County Fair welcomes all our rowdy friends and legendary performing artist Hank Williams Jr., also well-known as “Bocephus.” Son of country music pioneer Hank Williams, Hank Jr. has earned his own right to legendary status. Named “Entertainer of the Year” by both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music, Bocephus has also been inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and has ten No. 1 singles to his merit. Advance tickets available March 25.

Wednesday, August 17: In concert – Kidz Bop Kids. For the first time ever, the Rockingham County Fair is offering a concert for children. Kidz Bop is known widely as the leading music group for pre-teen kids (age 6-12). This group has a catalog of more than 30 albums and has sold more than 16 million albums. According to Billboard, Kidz Bop has charted more top ten albums than Madonna, George Strait, Elton John or Bob Dylan. For the last five consecutive years the Kidz Bop Kids have been the “#1 Kids’ Artist” in the U.S. Advance tickets available now.

Thursday, August 18: In concert – Justin Moore with special guests William Michael Morgan and Chris Lane; Justin Moore was selected as “New Artist of the Year” at the 2014 Academy of Country Music Awards and has numerous hits, including No. 1 singles “Small Town USA,” “Til my Last Day,” and “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away.” His other Gold records include “Bait a Hook” and “Lettin’ the Night Roll.” Advance tickets available March 25.

Friday, August 19: Nationwide Demolition Derby - Fans come out in droves to see their favorite mechanic, neighbor, relative, or friend behind the wheel of those crazy cars in the ever-popular wreck'em rodeo. All tickets for this event are General Admission. Grandstand tickets – Adults $12.00 each; Kids 6 and under $5.00 each. Advance tickets available March 25.

Saturday, August 20: Interstate Truck and Tractor Pull – Various classes of trucks and tractors! All tickets for this event are General Admission. Grandstand tickets – Adults $12.00 each; Kids 6 and under $5.00 each. Advance tickets March 25.

FAIRGROUNDS ROADWAYS RECEIVE NEW NAMES

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HARRISONBURG, VA – Two of the primary internal roadways at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds now have official names. The fairgrounds hosts nearly 100 events per year in addition to the annual County Fair which saw record attendance in 2015 of 92,289 people over a six-day period. The overall Fairgrounds property welcomes more than 225,000 visitors annually.

Naming rights for the roads were acquired by two companies last fall at a fund-raising gala and Naming Rights auction. James River Equipment, a farm equipment dealership, selected a road that runs alongside the fairgrounds livestock complex. Deggeller Attractions, which provides midway rides for the Fair, chose a roadway that runs from Gate 2 all the way through the center of the grounds to the entrance of the Pepsi Grandstand. The roadways will carry their respective names for a period of five years starting in 2016. Street signs are already in place.

Officials with the Fair Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, say the Naming Rights program was developed in 2014 for two distinct reasons, one of which is to provide funds for upgrades and renovation of Fairgrounds facilities. Examples include improving handicap accessibility, expanding parking area, and adding safety and security features.

The other reason according to Fair Association General Manager Jeff Ishee is to offer significant marketing value to local businesses and organizations. “The Fairgrounds attracts nearly a quarter of a million visitors annually and hosts the largest event in the Shenandoah Valley – the Rockingham County Fair,” said Ishee. “Placing your business name in front of so many people in such a positive atmosphere helps build brand loyalty, reinforces your commitment to the community, and offers significant value,” said Ishee. Roads may be named after persons, companies, farms, or RCFA-approved non-profit organizations.

Parties desiring to name a Fairgrounds road are required to complete an application to be reviewed by a specially appointed committee. Details can be obtained by calling the Fairgrounds office at 540-434-0005.

CHUCK WAGON GANG COMES BACK TO THE ROCKINGHAM COUNTY FAIR

The legendary Chuck Wagon Gang is returning to the Rockingham County Fair on Sunday night, August 14, 2016 at a free-will offering concert at 7 pm.

Last summer, the Chuck Wagon Gang presented a Gospel concert to a record crowd in the Sunday night sing at the Rockingham County Fair. By popular request, the Chuck Wagon Gang is returning this year again.

The Chuck Wagon Gang is a Country gospel musical group, formed in 1935 by D.P. (Dad) Carter and son Jim and daughters Rose and Anna. At one point they were Columbia's number one selling group with excess of over 39 million in record sales.

Many of our local people have grown up listening to the Chuck Wagon Gang on slate 78's, vinyl long play albums, CDs and WBTX, in Broadway, Virginia, the sponsor of the concert.

The Chuck Wagon Gang has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and the Grand Ole Opry. The group has been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and the Smithsonian Institution's classic American recordings. The group recently celebrated their 80th anniversary in Gospel Music.

The current group consists of Shaye Smith, alto singer, and the granddaughter of the Gang’s original alto, Anna Carter Gordon Davis, and Howard Gordon, who was the group’s guitarist for many years. Singing tenor is Stan Hill; Soprano is Melissa Kemper and playing guitar and singing bass is Jeremy Stephens.
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY FAIR WINS AGAIN!

Harrisonburg, Nov 30, 2015 - The Rockingham County Fair has once again been selected to receive an Award of Distinction from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE). The award recognizes efforts concerning agricultural exhibitors and is presented by an organization representing more than 1,100 Fairs around the world. 

The 1st place award for “Overall Program for Competitive Agricultural Exhibitors” will be presented to Rockingham County Fair delegate Ken Hawkins on December 1, 2015 during the 125th annual IAFE Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

"We are truly honored to be here representing the fair we love,” said Hawkins, former president of the Fair. “This really reflects the hard work our sponsors, staff, volunteers and member organizations put in year after year to improve it. We have a lot to be proud of!"

“We are delighted that the Rockingham County Fair has been recognized once again by a global organization for our efforts to keep agriculture at the forefront,” said Jeff Ishee, GM of the Rockingham County Fair Association. “Being named #1 in any competition is special, but taking the top spot amongst this group of esteemed colleagues is a tremendous honor.” 

Similar-size Fairs who competed with the Rockingham County Fair this year in various categories include the Bonner County Fair in Idaho, the Four States Fair & Rodeo in Arkansas, and the Norman County Fair in Minnesota.

International award competition is divided into 5 divisions based on Fair attendance.  The entries are evaluated and judged by a team of industry leaders.  These individuals are selected from the membership of International Association of Fairs and Expositions, which has over 1,100 members around the globe.
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Fair concludes with big crowds

Average daily attendance in 2015 was the highest in Fair history.
Average daily attendance in 2015 was the highest in Fair history. 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
HARRISONBURG - The 2015 Rockingham County Fair concluded Saturday with the second largest crowd in Fair history.
 
Attendance on Saturday, August 22 was 19,401, surpassed only by Saturday of 2014 when 20,041 people attended the last day of the fair.
 
Overall Fair week attendance for 2015 was 92,289 - the largest in Fair history.  Average daily attendance in 2015 was 15,070.
 
Other attendance records achieved in 2015 include:
- Monday, August 17 was the largest opening day in Fair history with 13,749.
- Tuesday, August 18 was the largest Tuesday in Fair history with 13,664 people. 
 
It was a great week "for the kid in all of us."
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Agriculture Officials to Visit VA Poultry Industry Center

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HARRISONBURG, August 18, 2015-- Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) Commissioner Sandy Adams, and Virginia Farm Service Agency State Executive Director  Dr. Jewel E. Hairston will visit the Virginia Poultry Industry Center at the Rockingham Fairgrounds, Wednesday, August 19 at 10:00 a.m.
 
The Virginia Poultry Industry Center opened in 2014 and won an Award of Distinction from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE). The Center placed first in the category, “what was newly established at your Fair to promote agriculture.” Virginia Poultry Federation President Hobey Bauhan said he was pleased the 2014 poultry industry project received national attention. “Poultry is the largest sector of Virginia agriculture, and I commend Rockingham County Fair Association for creating a first-class facility that displays our industry’s rich history and how we help feed the world today.”
 
For 2015, the Virginia Poultry Industry Center has added interactive kiosks, updated videos, including “What’s in a Chicken McNugget,” a “Kids’ Coop” featuring plush laying hens, and a giant chicken puzzle. Also new this year is a display of feed bags spanning decades of service by poultry feed mills.
 
Poultry is Virginia’s largest agricultural commodity. Virginia’s poultry numbers at a glance: Broilers (chickens) are the state’s number one farm commodity, bringing in more than $800 million annually, turkeys are the 5th largest farm commodity, bringing in more than $260 million, and eggs are the 11th largest farm commodity, bringing in more than $97 million. *

FAIRGROUNDS ADDS 16 ACRES OF PARKING OVER TWO-YEAR PERIOD

June 25, 2015 – Finding a parking place at the Rockingham County Fair this summer will be much easier than in years past.
 
The Rockingham County Fairgrounds in Harrisonburg added 7 acres of new parking area in 2014 and will add an additional 9 acres this year. The goal is to increase overall parking capacity at the fairgrounds while promoting farmland preservation.
 
“This is a significant increase in parking capacity,” said Jeff Ishee, GM at the Rockingham County Fair Association. The new “Keep It Green” lot adjacent to the main entrance is being rented from a neighboring farm on a multi-year basis. It is expanding from 7 acres to 13 acres, while another 3 acre parcel formerly idled has been cleared and graded for additional parking near Gate 4. Attendance at the 2013 and 2014 Fairs set new records at 88,885 and 91,595 respectively.
 
The “Keep it Green” parking lot will only be utilized for parking during the week of the annual County Fair (August 17-22, 2015). The remainder of the year it will be used to produce hay as feed for livestock.
 
“Our mission statement requires us to promote agriculture and be a leader in the presentation and promotion of farm life and food production,” said Ishee. “This is a win-win situation for visitors, the Fair Association, and agriculture. Visitors to the Fair get additonal parking during Fair week and the land remains in productive agriculture.”
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Rockingham Co. Fair cancels Live Poultry Exhibits

HARRISONBURG; May 27, 2015 - The Rockingham County Fair Association has canceled all live poultry exhibits for the 2015 County Fair. The action is a direct response to the current outbreak of highly pathogenic Avian Influenza across the nation.

As of May 26, the outbreak had been confirmed in more than a dozen states and caused the loss of more than 40 million chickens and turkeys. Poultry industry officials describe the outbreak as “catastrophic” and at least four governors have declared a state of emergency in their respective states.

The cancellation of live bird exhibits at the Rockingham County Fair is being commended by the Virginia Poultry Federation. “We know some people will be disappointed,” said Hobey Bauhan, President of the Virginia Poultry Federation. “We appreciate, however, the Fair Association’s concern for the wellbeing of an industry that supports the livelihoods of thousands of people and contributes substantially to the economy of the Shenandoah Valley.”

Throughout its history, Rockingham County Fair livestock and poultry activities have been modified, restricted, and even canceled for animal health reasons. The most recent occurrence was in 2002 when an outbreak of Avian Influenza in Virginia and West Virginia devastated the poultry industry. The current cancellation applies to the exhibit of any live fowl or eggs. The prohibition also applies to all non-Fair activities at the fairgrounds until further notice. Rabbits will continue to be displayed at the normal location. The Bridgewater 4-H Petting Zoo will operate normally with the exception of no live birds.

Poultry enthusiasts involved with the Fair say this is a precautionary measure. “There is no danger to Valley poultry at this time, but better safe than sorry,” said Verne Leininger, co-chair of the Fair Poultry, Rabbit and Pigeon Department.

The Rockingham County Fair is working closely on the issue with a variety of agencies and veterinary experts. “Everyone we’ve talked to advises precaution should be the primary focus at this time,” said Fair General Manager Jeff Ishee. “We are one of the leading agricultural Fairs in the nation and we look forward to the time when we can bring back live bird exhibits during the annual County Fair. The poultry and waterfowl exhibits are always a highlight for fairgoers.”

For the 2015 Fair, the Virginia Poultry Industry Center will feature interactive displays and presentations about Virginia’s poultry industry and its important contribution to the state’s economy.
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2015 Pepsi Grandstand Events

The Rockingham County Fair is pleased to announce this summary of Pepsi Grandstand entertainment for 2015.  The Fair will be August 17 - 22, 2015 at the Fairgrounds on South Valley Pike, Harrisonburg.

Monday, August 17: Lady Antebellum, with special guests A Thousand Horses. – The "Wheels Up 2015 Tour" comes to the Shenandoah Valley featuring one of the hottest bands in country music.  With 747, Lady Antebellum's fifth album, the band captures the speed and spirit of its critically- acclaimed live show in 11 new songs. Bandmates Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood may have formed the group in Nashville, but they earned their stripes on the road. That's where Lady Antebellum truly comes alive, mixing the rootsy stomp of forward-thinking Country music with the swooning, sweeping sound of three voices that were born to mesh. 
 
Tuesday, August 18: In concert – Alabama, with special guests Native Run; The Rockingham County Fair welcomes legendary performing artists Alabama. This is the country music band that changed everything. They reeled off 21 straight #1 singles, a record that will probably never be equaled in any genre. They brought youthful energy, sex appeal and a rocking edge that broadened country's audience and opened the door to self-contained bands from then on, and they undertook a journey that led, 73 million albums later, to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
 
Wednesday, August 19: In concert – Lynyrd Skynyrd, with special guests Whiskey Myers. With a catalog of over 60 albums, sales beyond 30 million worldwide and their beloved classic American rock anthem “Sweet Home Alabama” having over two million downloaded ringtones, Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Lynyrd Skynyrd remains a cultural icon that appeals to all generations.
 
Thursday, August 20: Monster Truck Thunder Racing Series; An AMAZING night with numerous monster. All tickets for this event are General Admission. Tickets are only $12.00 for ages 7 and up and $5.00 for kids 6 and under (babes in arms free). 
 
Friday, August 21: Nationwide Demolition Derby - Fans come out in droves to see their favorite mechanic, neighbor, relative, or friend behind the wheel of those crazy cars in the ever-popular wreck'em rodeo. All tickets for this event are General Admission. Grandstand tickets – Adults $12.00 each; Kids 6 and under $2.00 each. 
 
Saturday, August 22: Interstate Truck and Tractor Pull – Various classes of trucks and tractors! All tickets for this event are General Admission. Grandstand tickets – Adults $12.00 each; Kids 6 and under $2.00 each. 
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Miss Rockingham County Fair wins state title

HOT SPRINGS, January 10, 2015 – 2014 Miss Rockingham County Fair Megan Greber recently won the title of Miss Virginia Association of Fairs for 2015. The pageant was held in Hot Springs on January 10. More than 20 contestants from County Fairs across the Old Dominion competed for the title.

Greber said it was an honor to represent Rockingham County at the statewide level. “The county has so much to offer people,” said Greber. “I was happy to share Rockingham County at the state level and represent so many good people from the Fair and all around the county.”

Greber graduated from Virginia Tech in 2014 with a degree in human development and is a graduate student at James Madison University studying early childhood education. She is the daughter of Adrian and Lisa Greber of Stanley.

Earning the title of Miss Virginia Association of Fairs entitles Greber to compete in the Miss Virginia Pageant in June in Roanoke. “It has been nearly fifteen years since we have had a Miss Rockingham County Fair eligible to participate in the Miss Virginia Pageant,” said pageant director Melissa Frazier-Shifflett of Elkton. “She will represent our county and the Virginia Association of Fairs well at the next level.”

“We are extremely proud of this young lady and her accomplishments,” said Rockingham County Fair General Manager Jeff Ishee. “Megan is a fine young lady and will be very successful in any endeavor she chooses.”

“I'm so happy I was able to bring home the title for Rockingham County!” posted Greber on social media. “After a long but fun weekend my dream came true! I can't wait to take this year by storm and see what it has in store for me! So blessed to be the new Miss Virginia Association of Fairs!”

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Rockingham County Fair honored with awards in Las Vegas

HARRISONBURG, Dec. 9, 2014 - The Rockingham County Fair has been selected to receive three Awards of Distinction from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE). Two of the honors relate to excellence in agricultural programs while the other award is for having the best Fair website. The competition involved more than 1,100 Fairs around the world. 
 
The awards will be presented to Rockingham County Fair President Donnie Liskey on December 9, 2014 during the 124th annual IAFE Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.
 
“It is a great accomplishment for the Fair and the volunteers who helped pull this off,” said Donnie Liskey, President of the Fair Association. “Our commitment to agriculture should be obvious to all since our theme this year was ‘2014 - Year of the Farm Family.’”
 
Winning entries for the Rockingham County Fair include:
 
  • 1st place - Overall Program for Competitive Agricultural Exhibitors
  • 1st place – What was newly established at your Fair to promote agriculture (2014 poultry project)
  • 1st place – Fair Website
“We are pleased that our organization has been recognized once again by a global organization for our efforts to keep agriculture at the forefront of the Rockingham County Fair,” said Jeff Ishee, GM of the Rockingham County Fair Association. “Winning first place in any competition is special, but taking the top spot amongst this group of esteemed colleagues is a great honor.”
 
Similar-size Fairs who competed with the Rockingham County Fair this year in various categories include the Arizona National Livestock Show, the Canyon County Fair in Idaho, the Adams County Fair in Colorado, and the Herkimer County Fair in New York.
 
Virginia Poultry Federation President Hobey Bauhan said he was pleased the 2014 poultry industry project received national attention. “Poultry is the largest sector of Virginia agriculture, and I commend Rockingham County Fair Association for creating a first-class facility that displays our industry’s rich history and how we help feed the world today.”
 
International award competition is divided into 5 divisions based on Fair attendance.  The entries are evaluated and judged by a team of industry leaders.  These individuals are selected from the membership of International Association of Fairs and Expositions, which has over 1,100 members around the globe.
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Rockingham County Fair Pageant to be held August 2

HARRISONBURG - The Rockingham County Fair pageant is scheduled for Saturday, August 2 at the Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall.
 
The new titleholders will represent the Rockingham County Fair during fair week August 11-16 and at other events throughout the year. Miss Rockingham County Fair will receive $750 as well as numerous other gifts.  The pageant is directed by Melissa Shifflett.
 
“We are very excited about the upcoming pageant,” Shifflett said. “The Rockingham County Fair pageant is a good stepping stone to other opportunities for contestants.”
 
“We look forward to a great pageant this year,” said Fair Association General Manager Jeff Ishee, who observed the long history of the Fair pageant. It was 50 years ago this summer when Miss Terry Preston was named Miss Rockingham County Fair - 1964. According to an article in the Daily News Record at the time, she was a 17-yr. old senior at Harrisonburg High School and the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. Grant Preston, Jr. of Harrisonburg. First runner-up was 17-yr old Rhonda Smallwood, also a student at HHS. Second Runner-up was Jayne Gallahan. The feature entertainer for the 1964 Fair was Grand Ole Opry star Tex Ritter.
 
“We actually tracked down Terry Preston (Glondys), who now resides in Florida,” said Ishee. “She keeps in touch with her Harrisonburg friends via Facebook and said she has pleasant memories of being named Miss Rockingham County Fair in 1964.”
 
The2014 pageant will include divisions for boys age newborn to 4 years. Girls divisions include Preteen, Jr. Miss, Miss, and Mrs. programs. The Mrs. Division is open to all married ladies and there is no age limit. There will also be a Grandmother Division.  Preteens divisions include categories 0-11 months, 12-23 months, 2-3, 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12. The Jr. Miss program is for girls ages 13 to 15. The Miss contestants must be 16 to 22.
 
For more information about the Rockingham County Fair pageant program, contact Shifflett at 540-820-1930 or visit www.rockinghamcountyfair.com.
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Fairgrounds poultry facilities to be dedicated August 5

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New Fairgrounds facility will highlight poultry industry
 
HARRISONBURG – The Rockingham County Fair Association will dedicate two new fairgrounds buildings on Tuesday, August 5th. The focus of the facilities will be on poultry. Don Liskey, president of the organization, said this has been a successful project for the Fair. “We have seen tremendous community support for this effort to highlight the historic and economic importance of the poultry industry,” said Liskey.
 
One of the buildings will house historic artifacts and educational displays to demonstrate how Rockingham County became known worldwide as the “Turkey Capital” as well as a major hub for chicken production. It will also tell the story of how farmers protect the environment and provide thousands of jobs in the Shenandoah Valley. Two nine-foot tall, custom-sculpted statues, one turkey and one chicken, will welcome visitors to the facility. “The industry showcase building will be staffed by volunteers associated directly with the poultry industry,” said project chairman and Fair Board member Jeff Germroth.
“There will be multimedia displays and items of interest to all ages.”
 
“It will let people know that poultry and eggs directly and indirectly contribute $8 billion and 42,000 jobs to Virginia’s economy,” said Hobey Bauhan, president of the Virginia Poultry Federation. “In sum, the new poultry building will tell our story from past to present and from farm to fork,” said Bauhan.
 
The second building will be for the exhibition of live birds, including chickens, turkeys, pigeons, and other fowl. The building is considerably larger than the old poultry facility and was designed to offer a comfortable environment for birds and people alike. The famous duck slide will, of course, be a part of the Fair week exhibit.
 
The Fair Association is asking for help in providing content for the poultry industry showcase building.  “We realize there are a lot of artifacts, equipment, and memorabilia associated with poultry production in Rockingham County,” said volunteer curator Lee Anne Biller. “If people would like to loan a few items to the Fair
Association for display during Fair week, we will consider exhibiting anything
from feed sacks to ball caps to incubators to old signs.”
 
The Rockingham County Fair Association intends to dedicate the two new buildings at a noon-hour ceremony on Tuesday, August 5. The highlight of the event will be a grand unveiling of the two nine-foot tall statues.

2014 Poultry Project

Poultry "Industry Showcase Facility" under construction - April, 2014
Poultry "Industry Showcase Facility" under construction - April, 2014 
Virginia poultry industry to be focus of "showcase facility" at Rockingham County Fairgrounds
 
HARRISONBURG -The Rockingham County Fair in Harrisonburg is renovating and expanding poultry facilities on the Fairgrounds this spring. The goal is to showcase the historic and economic importance of the Virginia poultry industry as well as to provide new and expanded space for exhibitor show birds during the annual County Fair. The Rockingham County Fair has been recognized on numerous occasions as one of the top agricultural Fairs in North America and is dedicating 2014 as "The Year of the Farm Family."
 
"This project has been a long time in the making," says Jeff Ishee, GM for the Rockingham County Fair Association. The current poultry exhibit building was transported to its present-day site in 1980 after being used for numerous years at the old Kratzer Road site of the County Fair. "It's time for a make-over," emphasized Ishee, who added the renovated building and another, poultry-related new-construction building are scheduled to be completed in time for the 2014 County Fair. Attendance at the 2013 Fair set a new record at 88,885 people.
 
The Fair Association and various poultry companies with operations in Rockingham County developed a plan several months ago to recognize the historic and economic importance of the Shenandoah Valley poultry industry. Construction of the new showcase building began in late March.
 
"This is a big story and it needs to be told," remarked poultry industry pioneer Charles Wampler, Jr. of Dayton. "I am pleased more people will learn about the significance of chicken and turkey production and the farm families involved." The Wampler family was an integral part of the reason Rockingham County has become known around the world as the "Turkey Capital." Wampler was also the 1st President of the Rockingham County Fair Association in 1949.
 
The old poultry building used for more than 3 decades is undergoing a complete, top-to-bottom makeover and will contain interactive displays, historic artifacts, and educational exhibits. Two prominent statues (one chicken and one turkey) will welcome visitors at the main entrance. Another building for exhibiting live birds during the County Fair will be new construction from the ground up. It will be used to host other Fairgrounds events throughout the year.
 
Funding is being provided by private donors, poultry companies and agriculture-related interests. The Fair Association is also being considered for a grant from the Rural Rehabilitation Trust Fund administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The project has received endorsements from Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, as well as the encouragement of local elected officials.
 
"Our mission statement requires us to promote agriculture and be a leader in the presentation and promotion of farm life and food production," says Fair Association President Don Liskey of Cross Keys. "This is a win-win situation for the Fair and the poultry industry. Visitors to the Fair will learn all about the importance of chicken and turkey production here in the Shenandoah Valley."
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