Mecosta County Agricultural Free Fair Rules and Regulations Governing Entries, Exhibits, and Awards

Section 1 - General

  1. The Fair Board reserves the final and absolute right to interpret these rules and regulations and to arbitrarily settle and determine all matters, questions and differences in regard there to. It further reserves the right to amend or add to these rules. It may withdraw all, or play in part, premiums offered in all departments should an emergency exist and circumstances demand it.
  2. Disregard of any rule by exhibitor or concessionaire forfeits all premiums, right, and privileges without recourse.
  3. The management will use diligence to insure the safety of livestock and articles entered for exhibition or display after their arrival on the grounds but under no circumstances will it be responsible for loss, injury or damage by fire, lightning, wind or by any other agency, to such livestock, articles on exhibition or display, and the Fair and management thereof shall be held harmless by the exhibitors against all legal or other proceedings relating thereto.
  4. Exhibitors must place all exhibits under the direction of the Superintendent in charge.
  5. Exhibitors from the following counties: Osceola, Lake, Newaygo, Montcalm or Isabella must place all exhibits under the direction of Mecosta.
  6. Stalls, stables, pens and water are provided for livestock on the Fairgrounds without charge. Exhibitors shall provide for own livestock feed and straw or bedding.
  7. In the event of conflict between the general rules and special rules governing the various departments, the special rules will take precedence.
  8. Livestock must be fit to show. This will be determined by the livestock superintendent.

Section 2 - Entries

  1. Applications for entries in all departments must be made on entry sheets found in the fairbook. Entry sheets may be dropped off at the MSU Extension Office in Mecosta County Services Building or mailed to Mecosta County Fairboard, 540 West Avenue, Big Rapids, MI 49307. Entry sheets must be received by JULY 1 for livestock and horses. No entries will be accepted at the MSU Extension Office after 5 pm on July 1st. Still Exhibits deadline if July 1 or walk in registration on Saturday and Sunday.
  2. All entries must be made in the name of the bonifide owner or the organization when not individually owned. Failure to observe this rule will disqualify the exhibit and result in the forfeiture of any premiums won thereon.
  3. All animals for exhibition must be free from any contagious infectious or communicable disease. Refer to M.D.A. Health Requirements.
  4. Superintendents will check the animals at the designated check-in times to verify that the animals have met the testing requirements. Cattle and goats must have approved tag in ear. Animals not in compliance will not unload and will be sent home. All market livestock must have the proper Mecosta County Jr. Livestock tag in its ear.
  5. All exhibits must be of this season's growth or production, except as noted in some Department's premium listing.
  6. Only one entry per person per class is allowable.
  7. Exhibit registration: Sunday, July 5th 11 am - 4 pm; 4-H Face to Face Judging entries will be judged Monday, July 6th.
  8. Exhibit pick-up: Saturday, July 11th from 9 am - 10pm and Sunday, July 12th from 9 am - Noon. 4-H members are required to clean the stalls down to the ground. Removal of exhibits prior to these times will result in exhibitor's forfeit of ribbons and premiums. Stalls will be checked for cleanliness. Exhibitors must leave all identification of owner and animal in the stalls until animals have been removed.
  9. All youth (5-19) may show Open Class. 4-H Youth; may not exhibit the same item/animal in both an Open and a 4-H class.
  10. To show under 4-H, you must be a registered by April 30, 2015 as a Mecosta County 4-H member, or FFA member in Mecosta County. For additional 4-H rules see 4-H section of the fairbook, and Junior Livestock handbook, Michigan 4-H State Horse and Pony Regulations and County Horse Project book.
  11. Your exhibitor number will be the first initial of your first, the first initial of your last name and the last 3 digits of your Social Security Number.
  12. Mecosta County Junior Livestock Sale participants must be registered in a 4-H/FFA livestock club in Mecosta County.
  13. Poultry vaccinated for infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) are not allowed at fair.
  14. All hogs shall originate from Port Quality Assurance Farms. PQA Certification for exhibitors shall be on file at the Extension Office.
  15. The Mecosta County Jr. Livestock Sale is a terminal sale for all Market Swine. All hogs will go to slaughter on authorized trucks.
  16. The right is reserved to reject any exhibit offered. Entry sheets improperly filled out will disqualify the exhibitor.

Section 3 - Judging and Awards

  1. Judges will be appointed or hired by the Fair Board.
  2. Judges will in no case award a premium where there is no merit, though there be no competition, where there is partial merit an award will be given accordingly.
  3. No person will be permitted to interfere with the Judge while he/she is performing his/her duty of examination. The decision of the Judge is final on all placing.
  4. Third place award will be paid only when three or more exhibitors compete.
  5. Premium awards will be designated as follows:
    Adult and Youth Open Class 4-H Youth Class
    First Place Award - Blue ribbon, Judged under the Danish System
    Second Place Award - Red Ribbon Receive A,B,C ratings
    Third Place Award - White Ribbon - Blue, Red and White Ribbons
  6. Premium checks will be mailed to the exhibitor. Premiums may be pro-rated.

Section 4 - Appeals and Complaints

  1. An exhibitor compelled to bring a complaint regarding conflict of interest of the judge, disqualification of an exhibit or exhibitor; Exhibitor, group leader or superintendent's behavior, or eligibility of an exhibit shall make a formal protest in writing to the Fair Board no later than ten (10) days following the end of the fair.
  2. Protest must be in writing and signed by the parties making the protest.
  3. All protests shall be referred to the Executive Board, which shall review the protest with interested parties and give all parties involved an opportunity to submit evidence. The party against whom the protest has filed shall have the right to read the statement of protest.
  4. A $50.00 fee, which will be retained by the Mecosta County Fair Association, must also accompany all protests, if the protest is not sustained.
  5. The Rules Interpretation Committee will then hear all protests at a time and place set by the Fair Executive Board.
  6. The Rules Interpretation Committee will consist of the General Superintendent from the department being addressed, the Overall Superintendent of the department, the county 4-H Program Coordinator, and a designated representative from the Mecosta County Fair Association.
  7. Exhibitors may file an appeal to the Department of Agriculture within 45 days of filing the initial complaint if the Exhibitor is not satisfied with the Association's action. The Department of Agriculture shall have 60 days after receipt of any appropriately filed appear to investigate the complaint, and shall issue a finding of fact and notice of department action any recommended actions for the Association.
  8. The Rules Interpretation Committee must provide a written ruling to all parties concerns within 30 days of the close of the fair.
  9. If the exhibitor is not satisfied with the Rules Interpretation Committees finding, the exhibitor may take their protest to the Mecosta County Fair Association's Executive Board.