As the Burke County Fair Board, under the direction of County Extension Agent Dean Folskey and the promotional driving force of Steve Pederson, look to the future of the county’s centerpiece of progressive agriculture, learning center, and social community involvement–they reach out to both past and present benefactors of what the fair has come to mean in their personal lives.

They are asking for your financial support to help build a multipurpose livestock pavilion. This is a much needed facility–long overdue in terms of maintaining a thriving, competitive fair that the community can be proud of, and for which those of us with strong, nostalgic ties to that part of the state can leave a fitting legacy of both family and community pride.

For many, each of you has a county fair story that has gone to the grave bigger than life. None are more important than the other, nor more or less remembered by those whose lives have been touched in a way that only a county fair can. County fairs can make such a difference in actually changing and redefining lives.

Though there are those of us who may think our involvement in the fair was more than most, it’s probably not ours to measure, nor should it be, as the standard measurement in life for which we are judged is that of a higher power; the bearer of good news seen through the eyes of our peers.

Not all have a sounding board such as the The Knightro Report–which is read throughout the nation–to share those childhood memories of the county fair, for which my readers will attest to my many conquests, honors, and defeats. But always with a sense of pride for which I too will take to my grave. Because of this unfair advantage, I’ve offered to write a manuscript of your story to be published and displayed in a prominent, historical location within the confines of the newly proposed pavilion.

You see, not all have been given an opportunity to share their stories, nor will all who would like to financially contribute be able to do so. But yours, no matter how small or how insignificant needs to be shared.

For those that have been richly blessed, will you please honor those less fortunate by providing space and resources for all to be heard? You will not only be preserving the past, but you will be building a future for all to participate. Your good works will be cast in stone and recognized in perpetuity for all to see and appreciate.

The preliminary research and design of the building suggests a fund drive goal of about a half-million dollars; however, the final outcome will be determined by the amount of money raised and the sharing of your ideas and suggestions.

For many of us, the Burke County Fair 4-H was bigger than life itself, but it was those that were involved in 4-H that personally benefited the most, as true today as it was ‘back then’. In fact, the fair has become little more than just a 4-H show. We’re grateful for that, but remember when it was so much more. And it could be again if we would respond favorably to the request for a livestock pavilion built on the trust of a new beginning that stands on a strong foundation.

Just how strong depends upon your own personal point of reference.

Without naming names, for fear of overlooking someone, I’m laying odds that your list of names will resemble mine. And that each and every one of them was an outstanding leader of our community, heavily involved in the leadership role of 4-H.

Just as 4-H became the role model that shaped and influenced many of our lives, it too can continue in that capacity if we will simply follow the lead of our forefathers. I know that my father would be so proud to be a part of this movement, like repeating history: Replacing the ol' show barn that was located on the east end of fairgrounds. Memories, memories, memories!

In responding to this fund drive, you just might want to consider giving an honorable memorial in the name of those who have remained nameless in this report or the sanctity of 4-H. The honorable respectability of the status of your giving shall remain personal, but the public acknowledgement of your generosity will be proudly on display for all to see and applaud.

It is my honor and distinct pleasure to graciously accept the responsibility of heading up the Burke County Fair Fund Drive to build a new livestock pavilion. If you share my passion and enthusiasm for this project, please contact me via my personal bio found in the credits of this report.

This is my gift for all that 4-H and the Burke County Fair has given me.


For more insightful stories written by Ken Knight read PONY TALES by PONTY

Biography and contact information for Ken Knight