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Schedule

*This is a Tentative Schedule and is subject to change.*

Thursday, January 11, 2024


4:00 p.m. - Joint Meeting of the MN State Ag Society, Midwest Showmen’s Association, and the MN Federation of County Fairs

Bloomington Room
Presided by MFCF President Steve Hallan

5:00 p.m. - MN Federation of County Fairs Board Meeting

Bloomington Room
Presided by MFCF President Steve Hallan

5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. - MFCF Registration

Grand Ballroom Foyer


6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. - Midwest Showmen’s Association Open House

Veranda Ballroom
Come enjoy complimentary food and beverage. Support the great work of the Midwest Showmen’s Association by supporting the silent auction!

6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. - SHARING TABLE: What’s on Your Mind?

Moderator: Troy Beise, MFCF District 6 Director
Edina Room

Friday, January 12, 2024


7:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. - MFCF Registration

Grand Ballroom Foyer

7:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. - Convention Socialization

Bloomington Room

8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. - State Agricultural Society Office Open

Grand Ballroom Foyer

9:00 a.m. - General Session - Keynote

Grand Ballroom East

Think Like Walt Disney
The Man That Turned Fun into an Empire!

Michael Bradley
MHB Productions, Fairs and Events Management Consulting
Learn how the Master did the impossible and how he turned dreams into reality. More importantly, how this can apply to your fair – big or small. Walt’s methods can work anywhere. This presentation will unveil the Top 10 Disney methods that will transform your guest experience, enhance your fairgrounds, add today’s technology, and provide simple solutions that create a big Impact. Walt was a dreamer, a realist, and his own best critic. Fairs today can apply his methods to Agriculture and Livestock areas, food and beverage locations, marketing, entertainment venues, children’s programs, exhibit spaces, signage, landscaping, main gates, parking lots, and even restrooms.

10:30 a.m. - Refreshment Break

Edina Room
Sponsored by:

10:45 a.m. - General Session

Grand Ballroom East

Legislative Update

A.J. Duerr, MFCF Lobbyist
Come and hear about where we are headed on the legislative front.

11:15 a.m. - General Session

Grand Ballroom East

MN County Fair Grant Program Update

Dacia Hinkhouse, Grants Supervisor MN Dept. of Agriculture

Get an update on the grant programs (including AGRI andLegacy Funding) and learn what qualifies. Get tips for the application and close-out process.

12:00PM – 1:00 pm - LUNCH

Grand Ballroom East

1:00 p.m. - Sessions

Understanding the Landscape of Marketing in Today’s Digital World
TBD

Plaza 6
Presenters: Roger Sievers, Owner of Sievers Creative
Moderators: Minnesota County or District Director


County Fair Grant Q and A
There will not be a presentation. Use this time to bring your questions to Dacia!
Plaza 5
Presenter: Dacie Hinkhouse, MN Dept of Ag Grants Specialist
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director
***NEW***
Immediately following Dacia’s Q&A she will be available for private appointments to answer any of your specific questions or concerns regarding your fair’s current or outstanding grants!
*Sign up available at registration*


Electrical Licensing and Inspection Information for Fair Board Members
This presentation will be on electrical safety on fairgrounds' permanent and temporary structures, electrical licensing, and inspection requirements.
Plaza 1
Presenters: Steven Dudley, Senior Electrical Representative
Moderators: Minnesota County or District Director


Partnering with Farm Bureau to Tell the Story of Agriculture
County fairs across the state began as an opportunity to showcase agriculture in the area, and that goal still holds true today. With a presence in every county, learn how you can partner with your local Farm Bureau to tell the story of agriculture at your county fair – whether that be through displays/exhibits, events, or recognition. TheFarm Bureau has resources for all of this and more!
Plaza 2
Presenter: Robin E. Kinney, Director, Membership and Marketing
Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

Fairboards for First-Timers!
Come and learn about some common calendar items and points to ponder for all fairs, hear about the MFCF and its role in Minnesota's fairs. Learn what to take away from convention as well as how to best serve your board throughout the year. If you have any questions, this is a great place to ask them!

Edina Room
Presenters: Steve Storck, MFCF Past President and
Zach Rinehart, MFCF District 2 Director, Brian Grunhovd, MFCF district Director

Panel Discussion: All things OPEN CLASS!
From premiums to displays, come hear from your fellow fairboards on what works for them and how they have seen success in creating and maintaining a thriving open class program at their fair!
Plaza 3
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

2:15 p.m. - Sessions

Q and A with the Lobbyist
You've heard the legislative update, now what questions do you have? Bring them to this session and get the answer. Have an idea for legislation that would improve fairs?Bring it to this session!
Plaza 5
Presenters: AJ Duerr and Cory Bennett, MFCF Lobbyists
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

Working with County Fair Boards to Support Minnesota 4-H'ers
This session will include a state of MN 4-H address along with updates on county and state showcase events. The workshop will be interactive and will include time for discussion.
Plaza 4
Presenters: Jennifer A. Skuza, Associate Dean and MN 4-H State Director;
Amber Greeley, Director of State and County Fairs Programs;
Sharon Davis, Director of Animal Science
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

The Ten Commandments of Vision Development and Strategic Planning for Fairs – Managing Opportunities and Creating a Success Story
All fairs and expositions must deal with change within an ever-evolving competitive business environment. Necessary change is hard but inevitable. The most difficult part of change is always managing the process. This presentation will draw upon the ten steps to success in Strategic Planning specifically for our industry. Large or small, county, state, provincial, or national, we need to clearly define objectives, formulate our “team,” and create strategies for results, not just discussion. Learn the rules to achieve attainable, measurable results, keep the process simple, and enjoy the ride.
Edina Room
Michael Bradley, MHB Productions, Fairs and Events Management Consulting
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

2024 Guide to Fair Management
Members from the MN Board of Animal Health will review State requirements for MN county fairs. We will provide resources and information on manager activities, animal ID, and common challenges and questions.
Plaza 2
Presenters: Dr. Katie Cornille, Senior Veterinarian;
Nancy Reeck, State Program Administrator
MN Board of Animal Health
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

Open Meeting Law
Come to learn and understand all there is to know concerning Open Meeting Law and how it applies to your county board!
Plaza 2
Taya Moxley-Goldsmith, Director for the Minnesota Department of Administration
Data Practices Office
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

Panel Discussion: Grandstand Events!
From the Demo Derby or Tractor Pull to any other Grandstand events your fair organizes(outside of music concerts), come and hear what others are doing to make their events successful!
Plaza 1
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

3:15 p.m. - Refreshment Break

Plaza Foyer
Sponsored by:

3:30 p.m. - Sessions

Connecting with the MN State Fair
Learn how your county can be represented at the Minnesota State Fair, from competitive competitions to awards and events. Come find out the best way to see your county be present at the Great Minnesota Get together!
Edina Room
Presenters: Minnesota State Fair
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

Interested in Learning more about the Showmen?
Members of the Midwest Showmen's Association are hosting an informational session all about the Club. If you are interested in learning more about what the Showmen are all about and possibly joining their membership, stop in and check it out.
Plaza 5
Presenters: Panelists from the Midwest Showmen Association
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

ReThink Everything
This presentation may change your mind on everything you have ever done, from marketing, sponsorships, entertainment buying, venue layout, and partnerships. What if every change resulted in more income, less expense and more value for your clients.Can you imagine if every solution to every problem resulted in more revenue by simply fixing the problem. This presentation us as Fair Managers, Board Members and Staff do to look at things through a different lens. See it from another angle and discover buried treasures right beneath our noses.
Plaza 6
Presenter: Kyle Palmer, Senior Agent, Artists & Attractions
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

Growing Continued Interest in Livestock Exhibiting!
TBD
Plaza 1
Presenter: Emily Grunewald, Red River Valley Fair - North Dakota
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

Networking Circles:
Come together with fellow board officers, it will be a time to meet new people and build your network! This time will NOT include a formal presentation or workshop, so be sure to bring your business cards and be ready to ask questions, share successes and build relationships with fellow board members who share a similar role!
Board President - Plaza 2
Moderator: Don Merkens; MFCF Vice President

Board Secretary - Plaza 3
Moderator: Troy Beise, MFCF District 6 Director

Board Treasurer - Plaza 4
Moderator: Jen Penzenstadler, MFCF District 3 Director

4:30 p.m. - MFCF Committee Meetings

Audit - Vista 2202
Credentials - Vista 2204
MN County Fair Alumni Meeting
Bloomington Room

5:00 pm – 11:00 pm - Trade Show Open


6:00PM - MFCF Banquet Dinner

- Doors Open at 5:45PM
Grand Ballroom – Ticket Required

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm - Silent Auction Open

Bloomington Room

7:05PM – 10:00PM - Showcase

Grand Ballroom

11:00 pm - Trade Show Closes


Saturday, January 13, 2024



7:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. - MFCF Registration

Grand Ballroom Foyer

7:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. - Convention Socialization

Bloomington Room

8:00 A.M. – 9:15 A.M. - Light Breakfast

Grand Ballroom

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. - State Agricultural Society Office Open

Grand Ballroom Foyer

9:30 a.m. - Sessions

Working with County Fair Boards to Support Minnesota 4-H'ers
This session will include a state of MN 4-H address along with updates on county and state showcase events. The workshop will be interactive and will include time for discussion.
Atrium 6
Presenters: Jennifer A. Skuza, Associate Dean and MN 4-H State Director;
Amber Greeley, Director of State and County Fairs Programs;
Sharon Davis, Director of Animal Science
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

Alcohol Awareness
TBD
Plaza 5
Presenters: Rahya Geisler, MN towards Zero Deaths Coordinator
Cleven Duncan, Responsible Beverage Service Liaison
MN DPS Alcohol & Gambling Enforcement
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

Partnering with Farm Bureau to Tell the Story of Agriculture
County fairs across the state began as an opportunity to showcase agriculture in the area, and that goal still holds true today. With a presence in every county, learn how you can partner with your local Farm Bureau to tell the story of agriculture at your county fair – whether that be through displays/exhibits, events, or recognition. Farm Bureau has resources for all of this and more!
Edina Room
Presenter: Robin E. Kinney, Director, Membership and Marketing
Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

Junior Fairboards
Come hear from a team that has successfully developed and maintained a thriving junior fairboard. Hear about their successes and learn how a similar program could benefit your organization!
Plaza 1
Presenters: Panelists from Carver County, Minnesota
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

Electrical Licensing and Inspection Information for Fairs
This presentation is for owner/operators of carnivals, inflatables, concessions, circuses, or any other transitory use of electrical power. We will address the licensing and inspection requirements.
Atrium 7
Presenters: Steven Dudley, Senior Electrical Representative and
Wade Schlie, Electrical Area Representative, MN Department of Labor and Industry
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

NICA - National Independent Concessionaires Association Inc.
TBD

Plaza 2
Dennis Larson, National Independent Concessionaires Association
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

Panel Discussion: Security!
Come hear what other County Fairs are doing to successfully keep their fairs safe, from hired agencies to volunteer security teams - find out what works for others and what might be the best fit for your organization!
Plaza 3
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

10:30 a.m. - Refreshment Break

Plaza Foyer
Sponsored by:

10:45 a.m. - Federation Caucuses

District 1 - Plaza 4
District 2 - Atrium 4
District 3 - Plaza 3
District 4 - Vista 2202
District 5 - Vista 2204
District 6 - Plaza 5
District 7 - Plaza 1
District 8 - Plaza 2
District 9 - Atrium 7

You are encouraged to attend your district’s caucuses, even if you are not a delegate or alternate. However, if you do not attend a caucus, the following sessions are available to you:

10:45 a.m. - Sessions

The Ten Commandments of Vision Development and Strategic Planning for Fairs – Managing Opportunities and Creating a Success Story
All fairs and expositions must deal with change within an ever-evolving competitive business environment. Necessary change is hard but inevitable. The most difficult part of change is always managing the process. This presentation will draw upon the ten steps to success inStrategic Planning specifically for our industry. Large or small, county, state, provincial, or national, we need to clearly define objectives, formulate our “team,” and create strategies for results, not just discussion. Learn the rules to achieve attainable, measurable results, keep the process simple, and enjoy the ride.
Atrium 6
Michael Bradley, MHB Productions, Fairs and Events Management Consulting
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

Chapter 38
Come and learn more about the Minnesota Statutes that establishes County Agricultural Societies.
Edina Room
Presenters: AJ Duerr and Cory Bennett, MFCF Lobbyists
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

11:15 a.m. (or following Federation Caucuses) - State Ag Society Caucuses (Districts 7 & 9)


12:00 p.m. - LUNCHEON

- Doors open at 11:45 a.m.
Grand Ballroom

1:30 p.m. - Sessions

First Aid at your Fair!
TBD
Plaza 1
Presenters: Kelly Riepe
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

Keeping your brand consistent through signage, apparel and printed collateral
TBD
Edina Room
Presenters: Roger Sievers, Owner of Sievers Creative
Moderators: Minnesota County or District Director

Better Together; Partnering with 4-H
Come to this panel discussion and learn some of our keys to success in building relationships between extension staff, local county 4-H programs, and fair boards.
Plaza 6
Presenters: Amber Greeley, Director of State and County Fair Programs
Ann Church, Extension Educator - Washington County
Tracy Ignaszewski, Extension Educator - Steele County
Alysa Tulibaski, Extension Educator - Marshall County
Moderators: Minnesota County or District Director

Quickbooks 101
New to Quickbooks? Come hear about the basics of the program, gain general knowledge on how the program can benefit your organization and hear from a County Board Treasurer on the specifics of how the program has helped them achieve financial stability.
Plaza 3
Presenters: Elliott De St. Croix, Professional Financial bookkeeper
Kelsey Preisinger, Professional Accounting Consultant
and Brown County Fairboard Treasurer
Moderator: County or District Director

Q&A Session with Carnival Owners, Food Concessionaires and Entertainment Companies
Take the opportunity to be involved in an unscripted Q&A with Industry professionals from Food Concessions, Carnivals, Commercial Vendors, and Entertainers. If you have ideas you want feedback on or questions about what we have seen from our travels, join in and we will do our best to answer!
Plaza 5
Presenter: Midwest Showmen Association Panelists
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

Panel Discussion: Life Happens: Navigating difficult circumstances at busy times and creating a healthy fair/life balance.
Come hear how fellow fairboard members have learned to juggle work, life and FAIR in a healthy way…. or at least try! Share your own tips and tricks and be prepared to takeaway valuable ideas to help you avoid burnout and serve your team in the best way possible!
Plaza 2
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

2:30 p.m. - Refreshment Break

Plaza Foyer
Sponsored by:

2:45 p.m. - Sessions

IAFE Information Session!
Come learn what resources the International Association of Fairs and Expositions has available for your team! Be prepared to take away valuable information on how the organization can help you better your program and provide exciting opportunities for your members!

Plaza1
Presenter: Scott Kozelka, Steele County Fair Manager / IAFE Zone 4 Director
Moderator: Minnesota District or County Director

Websites: Making an effective website that converts and educates in a mobile world
TBD
Plaza 5
Presenters: Roger Sievers, Owner of Sievers Creative
Moderators: Minnesota County or District Director

Succession Planning
Your Fair's Succession Plan : Are you ready for the next Leadership Team to carry on your legacy? Do you have a plan for your fair and its future sustainability? Learn what is important in the how and why of planning the process of identifying the critical positions and protocols within your organization and developing action plans to ensure your fair will continue to have the talent needed to fill those roles. It’s not about pre-selection, but instead preparation.
Atrium 6
Michael Bradley, MHB Productions, Fairs and Events Management Consulting
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

Board Organization and Structure: The Coach, the Players and the Referee…
Learn the importance of building a board structure that allows you to move your fair forward. Creating boundaries that allow your staff to walk with confidence into the future is important! Be prepared to take away valuable references that will allow you to identify different personalities and work ethics within your board and gain insight on how to create a TEAM approach that will allow everyone to better serve the organization!
Atrium 4
Presenter: Kyle Palmer, Senior Agent, Artists & Attractions
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

Off-Season Events
Come learn what it takes to create and maintain successful off season events on your fairgrounds! Learn how securing such events can help create another level of financial stability that will serve you throughout the entire calendar year!

Plaza 4
Presenter: Michaela Liebl, Anoka County Fair Manager
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

Panelist Discussion: Grandstand Music Entertainment
Come learn from fellow Fairboards on how they have developed a successful Music Concert reputation. From ticketing, securing agents, seating and more…. learn what has worked for them and how you can apply to your fair.
Plaza 2
Moderator: Minnesota County or District Director

4:30 p.m. - Trade Show Opens


5:00 p.m - Silent Auction Closes

Bloomington Room
- End times will be staggered.
- Successful bidders should pay
in the Bloomington Room.

7:05PM – 10:00pm - Evening Showcase

Grand Ballroom

11:00 pm - Trade Show Closes


Sunday, January 14, 2024



7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. - State Agricultural Society Office Open

Grand Ballroom Foyer

8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. - State Fair Breakfast and Annual Meeting

Grand Ballroom - Ticket Required

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. - State Fair Life Member Meeting

Atrium 2

10:15 a.m. – Noon - State Fair Board Meeting

Atrium 7

The Minnesota Federation of County Fairs Annual Business Meeting will be held in the Edina Room approximately 15 minutes after the conclusion of the State Fair Breakfast and Annual Meeting.
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