HUTCHINSON – In July, the Kansas State Fair announced it would not be holding a 2020 state fair, leaving a $2.3 million hole in the fair’s revenue and risking the possibility of not having a 2021 fair as well. Worse yet, the Kansas State Fair was not the only one cancelled by COVID-19. States across the country are at risk of losing their own versions of this important annual event that brings together rural and urban residents for a celebration of agriculture, agribusiness, and all of the great traditions fairs bring to our communities.
U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall, M.D. has recently signed onto H.R. 7883, the Agricultural Fairs Rescue Act. This bipartisan legislation will provide $500 million in grant funding for agricultural fairs across the U.S. to ensure the continuation of agriculture-related events and competitions.
“The Kansas State Fair has a substantial economic impact not only on Hutchinson but on the entire State of Kansas,” said Rep. Marshall. “The fair contributes an estimated $74.6 million to the Kansas economy annually and gives youth and adults across the state an opportunity to showcase their talents, learn more about our state’s great agriculture industry and develop the next generation of farmers and ranchers by cultivating a passion for agriculture.”
The legislation would authorize the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Market Services (AMS) to provide grant funding to states to help the most severely impacted fairs continue events that are drivers and promoters of agribusiness. Local, county and state fairs would all be eligible for funding assistance.