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Call to Action!

2019 off and running

Fair funding will be in front of both houses of the legislature next week so it’s time to contact legislators.

Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 3:30 PM, our bill, SB 5277, which increases the amount of the Fair Fund, will be heard by the Senate Ways & Means Committee. This is the most important committee hearing our bill will have. You can read the bill here: http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2019-20/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Bills/5277.pdf

On Friday, Jan. 25, Marla Calico, CEO of the International Association of Fairs & Expositions will present before the House Rural Development, Agriculture, & Natural Resources Committee at 10:00 AM. Her presentation is titled: “County and Youth Fairs: An overview of how agricultural fairs today are addressing the needs of their communities.” There will be no public testimony.

Thursday, Jan. 31 is WA State Faris Association Day in Olympia. Come meet with your legislators. To register, contact Gale Sobolesky at: Wastfair@comcast.net

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We need your help, please write to your legislators (you have three) and ask them to support increased funding for agricultural fairs in Washington. Legislators need to understand why fairs are important, especially the educational aspects of fairs and how participation in fairs helps prepare young people for careers.

Find your legislators here: https://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder

Find their contact information here: https://app.leg.wa.gov/Rosters/Members

Letters from youth who participate in fairs are extremely helpful. Please reach out to 4-H leaders and FFA advisors and ask for their help. Below is a guide to help young people write letters to their legislators:

Begin by introducing yourself. Tell them your name, how old you are and your home town.

  • Tell them what types of projects you have exhibited at the fair. Include contests such as livestock judging, showmanship, meal preparation and style review.
  • Describe what you learned by exhibiting at the fair. If you showed an animal, include how many weeks you fed and cared for your animal. How any hours did you spend training your animal?
  • What did you learn about keeping records of your time and expenses?
  • Have you gained confidence through participating in fairs? Describe how. Were you afraid before the competition started? How did you feel afterward?
  • Have you learned to be a better speaker?
  • How else have you grown through your participation in fairs?
Heather Hansen
Office: 360-705-2040
Cell: 360-480-5567
E-mail: heather@wafriends.org
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Support of Fairs

Fairs support rural economic development by giving small businesses an opportunity to showcase their wares. In addition, numerous artists and entertainers get their start at fairs. The more fairs do to support and encourage small businesses, the more revenue would be generated for the fund.

In 1998, the Fair Fund was set in statute at $2 million per year (RCW 15.76.115). Prior to that time, it had fluctuated according to revenue from horse racing. In recent prior years, it had been nearly $3 million per year.

The current source of revenue for the Fair Fund is a transfer from the general fund. The bill would divert sales tax revenue generated on fairgrounds from the general fund to the Fair Fund, replacing the existing transfer. If more revenue is generated than the existing $2 million, the Fair Fund would increase.

The fairs that depend the most on the Fair Fund are youth shows and the most rural counties.

To find their email addresses, click here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/MemberEmail

You may also leave a message via telephone at: 1.800.562.6000.

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