Group seeks donations for fairgrounds hog barn improvements
When a thunderstorm during the Vernon County Youth Fair turned the center of the hog barn into a soggy mass of mud through which a raging torrent flowed, the issue was decided in many people's minds. The hog barn needed some serious work. Currently a plan, proposed by Steve Chadd, is to collect donations of $135 each from families and fair supporters who want to donate. This money will be used to construct cement stalls that will be more secure and easier to clean. If the middle of the hog barn is converted to concrete stalls then there will be a total of 86 pens in that area. The proposed cost of the project will be $17,000. If only enough money is collected to construct stalls in part of the barn then those families showing hogs who donated will be guaranteed concrete stalls and the extras will be filled using a lottery system. This is an effort proposed by private citizens and is not a project of the fair board. Right now the swine barn renovations are still in the planning stage and no money has been collected. While there is no opposition to the idea of putting concrete stalls in the hog barn there are some who have voiced concern about the fairness of the stall buying program. "I don't want any kids sitting in dirt when others have concrete," said Vicky Irwin. She feels that the entire amount should be raised before construction is started. "I don't want the kids to have to pay for it," said Irwin. Chadd asserts that the purpose of the proposed plan is not to punish anyone for not being able to afford to buy a concrete stall but it is a project that has to get started and hopefully within two years there will be enough money raised to refurbish the entire barn. "We are not charging kids," said Chadd. " We are asking for donations." Right now Chadd reports that enough people have agreed to donate that there is enough money to finish half of the barn and if enough more sign on then the whole barn will be refurbished. He also said that there are a lot of sponsors now who will not use the stalls that they are buying and there will be quite a bit of room for families who haven't bought a stall. No matter what the results of the stall buying program are the Vernon County Youth Fair will remain a free fair, without a charge for anything, and exhibitors will always receive a pen, just like it has always been. "Once the barn is done then everybody can enjoy it," said Chadd.