The Economical & Social Impacts of the Bonner County Fairgrounds.
On behalf of the Bonner County Fair and Rodeo, I am pleased to issue this report about the economic and social benefits of the Bonner County fair. In addition to the economic benefits, our fairgrounds offer communities a place to gather, celebrate their heritage and reward one another for their
accomplishments through competition and public recognition. Our fair also provides community groups with
Bonner County Fair network dates back to 1927, as a way to advance public knowledge of agriculture and provide our community a gathering place. That tradition continues to this day, but with modern innovations that bring home importance and reality of agriculture to a rapidly growing urban population that may have little contact with farms, ranches, and agribusinesses.
The fair experience is a memorable one. Families mark their calendars and clear their schedules for fair time. Whether they simply attend to enjoy the exhibits, food and entertainment or participate in competitions, fair memories last a lifetime. Young people, especially, cherish the fun of the Kid’s Area, the awe and curiosity inspired by exhibits, and the pride of competing in 4-H and Open class livestock events. Fairs and children are a magical mix. Our fair brings out the best qualities in people, providing individuals with
opportunities to volunteer their services. From serving elephant ears at a charitable group’s booth to acting as a docent for an agricultural exhibit, our fair allows people to give a little in order to receive the bigger reward of a healthier and more vibrant community. The average visitor attends the fair 3.1 times per year and lives within 40 miles.
The fair provides a focal point for our community members to celebrate their heritage, compete in a variety of events, hold family reunions, display and view artwork, learn about tradition, and showcase the best of Bonner County. Fair- Related Business provides many goods and services that are essential to the fair experience. Concessionaires and commercial exhibitors enjoy the attendees spending on their merchandise. Our fair is a major venue for community groups and nonprofit organizations to raise awareness of their programs and services.
Bonner County Fair and Interim events also give these groups the ability to raise substantial portions of their annual budgets. Attendees love their fair and fairgrounds events.Fair time attendance exceeded 24,931 in 2014, increasing attendance by almost 17,000 from 2002. Interim events attracted approximately another 170,000 people per year.
The annual fair is just one of many years-around activities for the Bonner County Fair board. They must facilitate use of the fairgrounds for interim events sponsored by community groups and private entities as well as manage and generate funds for ongoing maintenance and capital improvement projects.
As a result, the fair network creates the opportunity for small-to medium-sized businesses and nonprofit groups to make money from these year-round activities. These interim events further boost jobs, income and tax revenues in our county.
Our fair contributes far more to the local economy. The overall impact of spending by participants at fair time and interim events. The economic and social impacts of these interim events greatly increase the value of Bonner County’s fair network.Availability of the fairgrounds for other events is an important benefit to our local community.Bonner County fairgrounds are not simply a site for our local fair, but are a focal point of community life
A central feature of our fair is to educate the public about the importance of agriculture in Bonner County.Sixty-nine percent of fairgoers interviewed in 2013 felt that they knewmore about agriculture after going to our fair.
The 4-H Program is high-quality of education for Bonner County young people and is a top priority. A classroom, however, is not the only place children learn.Raising animals, for instance, is a time-honored way to learn by doing. The 4-H livestock program offers this opportunity. This program presents a unique chance for school-age youth (ages 8-19), primarily to competitively exhibit and auction their prize livestock on the open market. 4-H members must own their livestock a minimum of 120 days for beef; 60 days for sheep, swine, goat, rabbit and poultry. Only those animals identified by the judges as top-quality and market-ready are sold at auction. Bonner County fair is a critical part of the 4-H livestock program, which educates young people about breeding, raising and grooming of farm animals. 4-H livestock auction at our fair grossed $192,000.00 with over 181 animals purchased by nearly 170 buyers in 2014. The sale increased from $138,932.20 in 2009. The Market Animal Sale in 2015 will be held on Saturday, August 15th at 9:00 a.m. in the indoor arena. 4-H members receive 97% of auction proceeds. The livestock auction provides financial recognition to agricultural youth through an educational program,teaching life skills and sportsmanlike competition.As a learning and business venture, the young men and women care for a steer, lamb, hog, goat, chicken, or rabbit. For these young participants, the 4-H livestock exhibition and auction is the culmination of considerable time and effort spent breeding, raising, grooming and preparing their animals. Young 4-H participants get both business education and financial rewards. They learn to provide quality meat products for human consumption and how to be in business for themselves. They learn basic economic concepts such as cost of inputs and profitability. With 97% of proceeds going directly to 4-H members, who typically save this money for college, or reinvest in agriculture by purchasing additional animals. Thus, the 4-H livestock program provides young community members with a valuable business lesson and funding for future goals.
Bonner County not only offers young people the chance to be part of agriculture and the competitive exhibits program, we offer this opportunity to people of all ages. Bonner County has numerous agricultural and artistically related competitions that are open to the general public. Theses exhibit programs focus on rewarding excellence. Encouraged by prize money (premiums) offered by the fair entrants make significant effort to showcase Bonner County agriculture and artistic excellence through varies exhibit categories. We have an interactive county website, created our own website: www.bonnercountyfair.com, have a very active Facebook, and several other social media to extend events and activities happening at the fairgrounds to a larger base of patrons.
All great recipes for success require quality ingredients. Fair-related businesses provide many goods and services that are the key ingredients to a successful fair. The Fair board and their suppliers work together as strategic business partners to achieve common goals. Each type of fair related business plays a key role in creating the total fair experience.These businesses include food and beverage concessionaires, commercial exhibitors, entertainers and service providers. Concessionaires provide food, beverages and other services to fairgoers and interim event attendees. Fair time concessionaires are among the most visible of the fair-relate businesses. They provide unique food experience that has long been a draw for fairgoers. Typical fair food includes; corn dogs, cotton candy, cinnamon rolls, BBQ beef sandwiches, elephant ears, chocolate covered bacon and deep-fried Twinkies.Eating fair food may be fun,but facing the fair-going public is no easy task. Fair time concessionaires make significant expenditures in our local community.Because of difficulty and expense of transporting items, these concessionaires purchase the bulk of their food from local wholesalers and retailers. They also spend on motels; restaurants, cooking fuel, and other needed suppliers. Fair time concessionaires have significant social impacts on our local community. For example, nonprofit organizations such as; Horsin’ Around, Calf-A, Beta Sigma Phi, and 4-H use the earned revenues to support their various community activities and award scholarships. * In 2013, one of our food booth tenants “Horsin’ Around” donated a percentage of their revues back to the fairgrounds.
Commercial Exhibitors are size able. Commercial exhibitors purchase goods for resale, exhibit materials, hire local labor, stay in motels, and eat in restaurants. Service and supply companies meet the needs of fair organizations and other fair-related businesses.Services cover numerous activities such as security, medical services, fire department, equipment and supplies, advertising, insurance, signs, decorations, tents, etc. Example: Wal-Mart 1 hour photo developing service is highly used by 4-H members, event coordinators, and exhibitors during fair.
Nonprofit Fundraising at Bonner County, there are three primary means of fundraising from nonprofit groups. In the first case, a nonprofit operates a food and beverage concession, or provides some other service to attendees, and net proceeds go back into their community.Labor is generally donated, further increasing net proceeds. Nonprofits also partner with Fair Board by renting the facilities to conduct fundraising events, such as dinners, lectures, seminars, dances, etc. The net amount of funds raised is calculated by subtracting all costs, including rental fees, food and beverage cost, and labor costs (if any) from gross amount of funds raised. It is also common for Fair Board to closely align itself with a 501 (C)(3) nonprofit public benefit organization whose mission is to provide funding for public education programs at Fair time, or raise funds for capital improvements at the fairgrounds. Bonner County Fair is involved with nonprofit organizations such as the Bonner County Market Animal 4-H Livestock Committee.
Nonprofit monies are almost entirely devoted to programs benefiting the local area. Similarly, funds raised at the 4-H Livestock auction remain in the local community as most exhibitors live within the county.Without Bonner County Fair numerous nonprofit groups could go out of existence and communities could lose the many good works that they perform.Making it possible for these organizations to thrive is one of the most important ways in which the Bonner County Fair improves life in our community. In these challenging economic times, Bonner County Fair has demonstrated their valve to state and local policymakers.
The bottom line, expressed in dollars, is that the Bonner County Fair contributes far more to economy and local communities than we receive in public funding. Goods and services purchased by fair-related businesses also generate jobs and income. Spending by fairgoers creates additional economic activity.
Finally, economic activity related to the fair and interim events expands state and local tax bases, resulting in increased sales and income tax revenue. Fair-related businesses pay employees compensation as well as employee food and lodging. They rent fair space; pay taxes, buy insurance, permits, motor fuel and a wide variety of other materials and supplies. Impact of the Bonner County fair in the future years is ultimately tied to the scale of our fair and interim events.Since the main impacts are attendee and fair organization spending,impact for future years may be estimated from values based in these indicators; spending factor, spending impact, income factor, income impact, employment factor, and future value. While economic impact of our fair is noteworthy, it is the social and cultural impact of the Bonner County Fair that may leave the most lasting impression on Bonner County residents. Today, our fair is as much about community as about farming. However, one defines “community fairs” are where Idahoans can go, in our ever increasing diversity and feel like we belong.
Our fair entertains, but also educates people about each other and the contribution that all segments of our society make to Bonner County. Bonner County Fair provides a focal point for community members to:
·Celebrate their heritage
·Compete in a variety of events
·Hold family reunions
·Display and view artwork
·Showcase the best of Bonner County
·Take in the beautiful scenery ; mountains, trees, pond, and landscape
·Visiting at dawn and sun down
·Relax, and enjoy singers, dancers, cheerleaders, etc.
·Learn about agriculture in Bonner County
·Feel good about yourself
·Creating new venues for fair goers
·Be a part of competitions & contests
·Provides educational opportunities
This report has outlined the many positive impacts that our fair and fairgrounds has on the community of Bonner County and its people. Economic impacts associated with the Bonner County fair range from spending by attendees and businesses to nonprofit fundraising to job creation and to tax revenue. From people’s paychecks to community services, the return on investments from our fair is widespread.
The Bonner County fair offers a link between urban and rural. The fair is a tool for educating Bonner County residents about the importance of agriculture and introducing young people to the interesting aspects of life on a farm. Through many of our competitions at the fair, young people learn about the agricultural industry, are awarded for their achievements, and are informed about future careers in agriculture.
The Bonner County Fair reaches far beyond their traditional agrarian roots and encourages industries and individuals to strive for excellence through competition is a great incentive to create the best products and displays possible. Further, exhibits offer opportunities to Showcase and premier new inventions and innovations.
Finally, through social and cultural impacts our fair helps bring people together from different heritages to celebrate and learn from each other. The fair also gives individuals the chance to volunteer to give back to their community. People regularly have opportunities to be spectators or fans, but only rarely are they invited to become participants in creating a major community event.
The story of the Bonner County fair has many plot lines .Each year we expand the storyline and add new chapters. However, they all come together in a simple conclusion; the Bonner County Fair embodies entrepreneurial excellence, innovative drive, and community spirit that are, Bonner County.