Renovated Commercial Building at Fairgrounds taking shape
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What better time than Beef Month to start Phase 2 of the Ringgold County Fair Building?
Last week, Ringgold County Cattlemen and Ringgold County Fair Board members broke ground to begin the new addition to the Commercial Building.
This addition will include a kitchen/concession stand, restrooms, and small meeting area.
Ground was broken to run water lines and pour concrete. The goal is to have the bathrooms ready by County Fair time in July and to complete the rest of the structure by January 2024.
The Ringgold County Fair Association and Ringgold County Cattlemen have joined forces to help the community.
Their goal is to educate, equip, and empower the youth and families in Ringgold County.
Ringgold County has a strong group of young leaders willing to step up and try new ideas. These leaders initiated many conversations throughout the county, completed surveys with community partners and spent time with youth to identify the top community needs to meet our goals.
The first need identified before we can begin providing educational opportunities is space. This space will be an addition to the Commercial Building. The facility will be able to offer handicap accessible restrooms, seating for over 400 people, room for equipment and livestock, large parking area and a kitchen with concessions.
The building will be used for Farm Safety Demonstrations, Livestock Handling and Care Demonstrations, Beef on a Budget, Feeding Tips for Infant Growth, 4-H Workshops, Intergenerational Education, Food Safety Classes, Young Entrepreneur Kitchen Use, Animal Health Workshops, FFA Supervised Ag Experiences, Farmers Market, Community Entertainment and Nutrition Workshops to name a few.
Ringgold County Cattlemen and the Ringgold County Fair are both effective non-profit organizations.
What makes a nonprofit successful? Good people. The key resource is to have qualified, skilled, and talented board members, staff, and volunteers. We have good people.
In Phase I of the project, over 2,000 hours of in-kind labor were logged to update the existing Commercial Building. Several 4-H clubs donate labor and money to the project.
If anyone wants to volunteer their time or talent to this energetic group, contact a Fair Board member or Cattleman. New volunteers are always welcome. The more community members work together for a common goal, the greater the achievements.
Two years ago, the Commercial Building was rented a few times at a cost of $250.
Following completion of the Phase I renovations, the rent was increased to $500 with the renter paying additional fees for heat and garbage.
The community is excited about the renovated building and there are already several dates on the calendar for the upcoming year and that’s without bathrooms or kitchen facilities completed.
It is believed once the building addition is complete with fully functional bathrooms, kitchen facilities, and equipment, they can rent the building for $2,000 per social event at a minimum of once a month.
These social events will cover the additional utilities and costs associated with upkeep of the building and allow for educational and youth events throughout the year.
The two groups are growing strong, committed volunteers to help with maintenance, upkeep of the building, and to ensure sustainability.
The goal is to have this building be the hub of the fair and of the county. They not only want to be able to host fair experiences, but a wide range of community events that will keep Ringgold County residents here and bring others from surrounding areas to Ringgold County.
This will have a huge impact on the economic development of the county.
They’re not just building a building; we’re building a community.
They have half of the project funding secured but are seeking assistance in raising the rest of the money to complete the project.
If you would like to be part of this project or donate you can contact Marci Werner 641-344-8117 or Tucker Winemiller 641-745-7785.
Donations can also be dropped off at City State Bank in Mount Ayr or mailed to Ringgold County Fair Association, Kisha Martin, PO Box 335, Mount Ayr, Iowa 50854. Please include a note that your donation is for the building fund.
Donors will be recognized on a donor wall in the building at the following levels:
• Purple Ribbon Sponsor – $25,000 and over
• Blue Ribbon Sponsor – $10,000 and over
• Red Ribbon Sponsor – $5,000 and over
• White Ribbon Sponsor – $1,000 and over
• Community Sponsor – $500 and over
• Friend of the Fair – $20 and over.