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Fair Person of the Year

Fair person of the Year Form

2020

District 1 - Elden Pohlman, Houston County
District 3 - Bob Leibel, Pine County
District 4 - Sharon Stillings, Ramsey County
District 6 - Danny Wiese (Posthumous), Cass County - Pine River
District 7 - Les Kopel, Stevens County
District 8 - Ray Smothers, Itasca County
District 9 - LeRoy Vonasek, Marshall County

2020 MFCF FairPerson of the Year Write-ups


District 1 – Elden Pohlman

This person eats, sleeps and breathes fair.His fair career began as a participant in 4 – H and continues to this day.He has been on the fair board since 1997, serving as the president and vice president for most of it.They are always willing to step outside of the box and try something new and they always seem to have a contact to make it happen.Their focus is to make this county fair the very best fair possible. This individual also loves to participate in MFCF convention – he loves to interact with all the other counties and vendors.Many of you will recognize him from our time here year after year.Without further ado and a happy belated birthday to the District 1 Fairperson of the year Elden Pohlman.

District 3 – Bob Leibel

What do you write about a person who has given 65 years of service to their community?30 plus of them serving on the ag society?Their love of the fair is unmatched by anyone, there dedication amazing.This person has been instrumental in leading the operation of our exhibit buildings, organizing judges and supervisors and making sure the displays are perfect.Each night they help clean-up, so they are ready to go for the next day.This person also loves to attend the convention to learn and advocate for fairs.At 89 years young, I am so excited to share that the District 3 Fairperson of the Year is Bob Leibel.

District 4 – Sharon Stilling

This person has had service in their hearts since 1949 when they were a young 4-Her.They loved participating in the fair.This person took that love of exhibiting and turned it into a passion as the superintendent for the open class exhibit building.As we all know in fair service, never offer to do something unless you are certain you to do the job, because you will get the job…forever…and ever.This person is no different - for the past 25 years they have served on the fairboard, lovingly attending to their exhibit building that other affectionally refer to as their building. For many years this person has not only gifted their time and talents to the county fair, they have also shared it with other parts of the fair community.With that is my pleasure to share that this positive, can-do, always giving me a little grief at board meetings, District 4 fairperson of the year is Sharon Stillings.She may look sweet and nice, but she gets her punches in. 😊

District 6 – Danny Wiese

Our next fairperson of the year had such a giving heart and a continuous big smile.This person had a passion for being involved and helping others, not task too big or too small. They havepicked up 4-Her's animals prior to the fair to help the youth get their projects to the fair, promoted the fair and helped the community understand the financial impact that the fair had on the town through using $2 bills to pay all midway and fair contracts and services that would flood the town's businesses with $2 bills. He would help the youth promote the fair by providing a flatbed trailer, complete with a bull or donkey or farm animals and projects and plenty of youth who wanted to publicize the fair at the town parade. He helped to revive a youth livestock auction and was infamous for ensuring the kids received top dollar for their prize animals by purchasing himself and through personally getting other businesses and individuals to attend and help support the cause. From donating services, providing a venue to host a fall trail ride fundraiser for the fair and bring together new and old friends, he was a loving person who greatly impacted our community and was instrumental in the success and further development of the County Fair!Sadly, this person passed away in August of this year, but their legacy will continue on, the District 6 fairperson of the year is Danny Wiese.

District 7 – Les Kopel

This country boy can be found at the fair, working on any project that comes up. He may be the supervisor for one particular species, but he is willing to work on anything including garbage detail!They have been an active member of the board for many years, spending many hours out at the fairgrounds.Sometimes getting their long before other board members and staying long after they have left.Having been active on the executive board, long range planning and the sponsorship committee this person is no stranger to the workings of the fair.It’s with a great Yee-Haw that I share this great cowboy, Les Kopel as the District 7 fairperson of the year.

District 8 – Ray Smothers

Every fairgrounds needs a caretaker, a person to maintain both the grounds and the buildings year round.This person began their career on the fairboard by getting involved as night security in the livestock department.Exhibitors were able to rest easy knowing that this person was there and always vigilant, assuring the animals were well monitored.This incredibly helpful and friendly person knows how to provide service for others.They give freely of themselves and are always willing to lend a hand.It is my pleasure to share that this kind, caring individual who makes the world a brighter place is the District 8 fairperson of the year – Ray Smothers.

District 9 – LeRoy Vonasek

This person is without question the most caring, compassionate and enduring volunteer of their community and county.Their legacy to the fair is unmatched and continues to this day.They have been instrumental in the building of the stage, horse barn and pens.They continue to serve and promote volunteerism through their actions and challenges to younger individuals.This civic minded individual has been on the master plan committee, the building committee as well as the demo derby and baja committee.It is my great honor to share the District 9 fairperson of the year – LeRoy Vonasek.

2019

D1: Dean Sanders (Winona County)

D1: Peter Marx (Mower County)

D6: Richard "Dick" Sonstegard (Wright County)

D7: Mary Hill (Stevens County)

D8: Roger Hill (SW St. Louis County)


2018 Fair Person of The Year

District 1

District 1

D1: Dean Sanders (Winona County)
District 1

District 1

D1: Peter Marx (Mower County)
District 2&3

District 2&3

No submissions
District 4

District 4

No submissions
District 5

District 5

No submissions
District 6

District 6

D6: Richard "Dick" Sonstegard (Wright County)
District 7

District 7

D7: Mary Hill, not pictured (Stevens County)
District 8

District 8

D8: Roger Hill (SW St. Louis County)
District 9

District 9

No submissions

2017 Fair Person of The Year

District 1

District 1

No Submissions
District 2

District 2

William "Bill" Arndt
District 2

District 2

Not pictured: Edwin Murphy
District 3

District 3

No submissions
District 4

District 4

No submissions
District 5

District 5

No Submissions
District 6

District 6

Kirk Peysar
District 7

District 7

Paul Koubsky
District 8

District 8

Amy Austin Slettom
District 8

District 8

Betty Valley
(green shirt.)
District 9

District 9

Jerry Erickson

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