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Plans for 69th Suwannee River Fair underway

The Suwannee River Fair Association held their annual meeting last Tuesday Evening, September 10, at the Fair Barn in Fanning Springs.
The meeting included the annual election of the Suwannee River Fair Board of Directors. Gilchrist County directors that were up for election were Houston McKenzie and Stephanie Douglas. Houston McKenzie was returned as a director. Douglas did not run again and Gary McKenzie replaced her as a director.
Dixie County returned Jamie NesSmith and Frank Bussard as Directors. Levy County retained Lint Jerrels and Loran Brookins as Directors. Heather Rucker returned as Director at Large.
Loran Brookins, who remains the Fair President, went over some upcoming dates such as the feeder steer and hog weigh-in and tag-in dates. Feeder Steer weigh-in will be held Friday, December 6, from 3 to 6 p.m. and Swine tag-in will be Saturday, December 7, from 7 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. Weigh-in for the Fat Steers was held at the end of August and there were 28 fat steers entered.
One important rule change was the starting weight for feeder steers is now 550 pounds. In the past it was 500 pounds. This would make the gain in weight per day be 1.5 pounds rather than 1 pound as in the past.
The Beef Cattle Homegrown show will have a grand and reserve champion that has been grown on the family farm. This means parents, grandparent or legal guardian’s farm.
In the past only 1 heifer per exhibitor was allowed to be shown in the homegrown show. This year as many as 3 heifers can be entered.
The Fat Steer show has eliminated the ultrasound.
Holly Houghton of Dixie County Extension Serive reviewed rule changes for the 2020 Suwannee River Fair and Livestock Show.
One of the changes in the livestock judging competition will be that there will be a questions class for all ages and senior age division may have a reasons class.
This year’s BBQ Contest will include cooking a pork steak and a grilled vegetable and/or fruit which are supplied by the contestant. The cooking time will be 90 minutes and contestants must clean their area and properly dispose of charcoal before leaving the area.
The Creative Life Skills requested that fancy padded lids, fabric overlaps and cozies not be used because they interfere with the judging of the processed food. They also wanted everyone to know that the show was not responsible for breakage.
The Goat Show organizers reported that spectators, parents and or breeders are not allowed in the back once the exhibitors are in line to show.
The Poultry Show has new times. Fair entry will be Friday, March 6 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Poultry Showmanship will be held Friday March 6, and the Poultry Show will be held on Saturday, March 7, at 9 a.m.
Dress Code for showing animals, sales, contest and at awards program require that participants be clean and neatly dressed in black pants, or skirts, a solid white button up shirt with a white collar and dark or green tie. 4-H or FFA Jackets or 4-H vest are required. Closed toed shoes with backs or boots are required. No hats or caps allowed. Cloverbuds may wear 4-H accessories. BBQ Contest and Dog Show participants check contest/show for dress code requirements. Dairy Cow and Goat participants may wear white pants and shirt. Horse show participants are required to wear attire, boots and helmets appropriate to riding style.
The 69th Suwannee River Fair will begin on Friday, March 6, and will run through Sale Day, Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
Serving as Board of Directors for Gilchrist County are Adam Elliott, Natalie Hodge, Houston McKenzie and Gary McKenzie. The Directors from Levy County are Loran Brookins, Scott Mills, Bud Sharp, and Lint Jerrels. The Dixie County Directors are Tracey Groom, Dalton Long, Jaime NesSmith, and Frank Bussard. The Director at Large is Heather Rucker.