JAMESTOWN — The Fentress County Agricultural Fair reigned supreme in 2015.
Julius Johnson, Tennessee Department of Agriculture commissioner, recently presented awards to the top county, regional and state agricultural fairs – and the top designation went to the Fentress County, which was named the “Champion of Champions Fair.” The fair was also among the 55 fairs recognized with an Award of Merit based on agriculture, educational value, overall operations, and the promotion of local interest and community spirit.
Elsewhere in the Upper Cumberland, White, Smith and Warren County fairs also received recognition in their respective categories.
“County fairs are one of the best examples of outreach of agriculture education,” Johnson said. “In this day and time, so many people live in urban areas and are not directly connected with farms, farming, and the sources of our wholesome food and fiber.”
The Fentress County Fair, held in mid-August, had 46,750 attendees in 2015. It’s also not the first UC fair to receive “Champion” designation; the Overton County Fair most recently received that award in 2013.
The full list of winners include:
State Champion: Benton County Fair
1st Runner-up: White County Fair
2nd Runner-up: Bledsoe County Fair
Most Improved: Smith County Fair
State Champion: Middle Tennessee District Fair – Lawrenceburg
1st Runner-up: Warren County Fair
2nd Runner-up: Lincoln County Fair
Most Improved: Franklin County Fair
State Champion: Anderson County Fair
1st Runner-up: Robertson County Fair
2nd Runner-up: Wilson County Fair
Most Improved: Jefferson County Fair
Premiere Awards (selected from among previous winners)
Champion of Champion: Sequatchie County Fair
Division AA: Hardin County Fair
Division AAA: Greene County Fair
Divisions are based on county populations.
Cindy Smith with the Fentress County Fair also received the first Judy Basse Memorial Award for outstanding fair secretary.
In 2015, almost 3 million visitors attended county, regional and state fairs in Tennessee. Those fairs generated $12 million in gross receipts. More than 17,000 volunteers donated time, resources and efforts to fairs that had more than 120,000 agricultural exhibits and more than 32,000 exhibitors showcasing livestock, farm crops and other agricultural commodities.