SHARE

The Hillsdale County Fair Board of Directors recently named lifelong res­ident Lori Hull its new fair manager.

The Hillsdale County Fair became “The Most Popular Fair on Earth” Col­legian | Kaylee McGhee

Hull, who grew up on a local dairy farm, received an Agri­cul­tural Com­mu­ni­ca­tions degree from Michigan State Uni­versity in 1988 and became involved with the fair after her children started doing 4H, a program in which youth com­plete hands-on projects in the fields of health, science, agri­culture, and cit­i­zenship. She rep­re­sented Adams Township on the Hillsdale County Fair­board for 10 years, then served as the office manager before being elected fair manager.

Tom Richards, pres­ident of the Hillsdale County Fair Board, said Hull was the only applicant inter­viewed for the position. Hull has already begun work on the budget for next year’s fes­tiv­ities. She has also signed con­tracts with vendors.

“Everybody on the board knew and liked her,” Richards said. “As pres­ident, I have been working with her closely, and she is doing an out­standing job.”

According to Hull, the most important part of the fair is pre­serving the agri­cul­tural tra­dition of the com­munity. She stated that she finds agri­cul­tural edu­cation important, as each new gen­er­ation becomes less and less aware of where their food comes from. Her most important role, however, is main­taining the long-standing, small town com­munity tra­di­tions.

One of Hull’s biggest chal­lenges as manager is main­taining the fair­grounds. She said she is thankful for the vol­un­teers who have helped her, giving the fair their time and hard work, during fair week and throughout the year.

“Main­te­nance is an ongoing process, but getting the funding to do all of those things is a huge chal­lenge,” Hull said. “Keeping the char­acter of the fair­grounds is a big chal­lenge, and none of it is cheap.”

Hull said that she would like to increase the fairground’s off-season usage, including hall and campsite rentals. The profit made from this helps provide funds for upkeeping.

According to Richards, former fair­grounds manager Mark Williams resigned after September’s fair for per­sonal reasons. He com­pared Hull to Scott Dow, who served as manager for 18 years. Like Dow, Richard said, Hull has a passion for the com­munity and for the fair­grounds.

“Lori brings a lot to the table,” Richards said. “She fair-minded and really important to us.”